How can I get maintained status in Canada?

Daniel Levy
Published: December 22, 2021

Under Canadian immigration law, all temporary residents have an automatically imposed condition that they are required to leave Canada after their authorized period of stay.

However, Section 181 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) states that a temporary resident is able to apply to extend their period of authorized stay in Canada before it ends. Individuals who exercise this ability can remain in Canada until Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) makes a decision on their application. During this process, the applicant is considered to continue to have legal status as a Canadian temporary resident.

To benefit from maintained status (previously known as "implied status"), one must closely follow the laws and guidelines provided by the Canadian government.

Get a free legal consultation on how to extend your stay in Canada

An applicant needs to be aware of when their temporary status is due to expire, how their extension application may affect their temporary residence conditions in Canada, as well as rules regarding remaining in Canada during the extension process.

First, one must be careful to submit their extension application before their existing status expires. IRCC encourages you to submit your application with enough time to spare so that you avoid potential complications to your Canadian immigration status.

Second, one needs to understand how their extension application impacts their conditions in Canada. The IRPR states that if an applicant applies to renew their existing work or study permit before their current permit expires, they can continue to work or study in Canada under the conditions of their previous permit while a decision is made. However, if you apply for a different type of permit, then you must stop working on the date that your current permit expires. For example, if a work permit holder now wants to obtain a study permit, then they must stop working when their current permit expires.

Third, applicants must understand how leaving Canada may impact their temporary residence status in Canada. Maintained status applies only as long as you remain in Canada. If you are on maintained status and leave the country you may be allowed to re-enter Canada as a temporary resident as long as you have a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or you are exempt from the requirement to have a TRV. But, you will not be able to resume working or studying in Canada until a decision is made on your application to extend your status. In addition, upon seeking to re-enter Canada, you may need to provide the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer with evidence that you have enough financial support to sustain yourself while awaiting a decision on your extension application.

Hence, it is important for you to be aware that if you are on maintained status, you give up your right to work or study once you leave Canada.

There are two likely scenarios once IRCC reviews your extension application.

If your application is approved, you will be provided with a new date for the period of your authorized stay in Canada.

If your application is refused, you are considered in status until the day the decision was made on your extension application. In this event, you have lost your status and can not continue to work or study in Canada as per the conditions of your previous permit. You have 90 days to apply to IRCC to restore your status. During the processing of the restoration application, you cannot work or study while you wait for IRCC to make a decision.

Finally, proof of your application to extend your status is generally regarded as sufficient to demonstrate you are legally in Canada on maintained status. This may be beneficial if you are asked for proof by your employer or school, or to assist you with re-entry to Canada.

Get a free legal consultation on how to extend your stay in Canada

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