How the Coronavirus Affects Canada’s Temporary Resident Status

| temporary status, work permit, study permit, visitor visa |

As of 12:00pm, March 18, the Canadian government has in place travel restrictions limiting the entry of temporary residents to Canada.  Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the department of the Canadian government responsible for, among other things, temporary resident statuses, has posted information about how this may affect you.

How to extend your temporary status in Canada while stuck in the country during coronavirus covid-19

Anyone who needs to extend their status should apply to do so 30 days before their current status expires.  If you do, you can acquire “implied status” even after your status expires, until the application is decided.

If your temporary status has already expired, you may be able to apply to restore it, though this will not grant implied status to work or study.  Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the deadline to apply to restore a temporary status is December 31, 2020 for a temporary status that expired after January 30, 2020.  Normally this deadline is 90 days from the expiry of the status.

Whether you are renewing or restoring a temporary status, you need to continue to abide by the conditions of your stay in Canada, even after that status expires.  You must also continue to be eligible for the particular status.

Most applications must be made through the IRCC website.  If you already have an IRCC account, you should apply through it.  Otherwise, you must register a new account.  Both options can be found here.

Do not attempt to apply directly to a border services officer by traveling to a port of entry, unless you cannot apply online due to a disability.  The IRCC considers this non-essential travel, and applications made in-person will not be accepted.

 

What to do if you’re in Canada with a Visitor Visa?

If you are in Canada with a visitor visa, you can extend your stay by applying for a visitor record.  Once the application is made, you can remain in Canada, even after your current visitor status expires, until a decision is made about the new application.

Individuals with a visitor visa can typically remain in Canada for up-to 6 months.  If your visitor status was approved for more or less than 6 months, the expiry date should be stamped in your passport (or visitor record, if your stay has already been extended).  Circumstances can vary, and you are expected to know the expiry date for your own visitor status.

 

How to extend a visitor visa while in Canada?

Temporary residents can apply for a visitor record online, through the IRCC website.

Applicants will need to fill out an Application to Change Conditions, Extend my stay or Remain in Canada as a Visitor or Temporary Resident Permit Holder form, and provide photocopies of travel or identity documents, such as their passport or birth certificate.  Other forms and photocopies of documents, (e.g. Marriage License or Certificate, or Use of Representative form) may be required if applicable.

There is also a processing fee which must be paid before your application is submitted.  Proof of payment is required as part of the application, so applicants may want to save the receipt with your other application materials.

 

How to restore a visitor visa while in Canada?

A visitor can apply to restore their visitor status after it expires if they apply within 90 days.  This requires the applicant to continue meeting the conditions and requirements of their stay, and provide details about why they did not extend their status or leave the country when it expired.  This also involves a fee.

 

Can I Extend my Work Permit?

If you are in Canada with a work permit, you can apply to extend your stay either by applying to extend or change the conditions of your work permit, or applying for a visitor record.  (If you apply for a visitor record, this will change your status and you may not be able to work in Canada once your work permit expires.  For information on applying for a visitor record, see “How to extend a visitor visa while in Canada” above.)

Once the application is made, you can remain in Canada and continue working under the conditions of your current work permit, even after that permit expires, until a decision is made about the extension.

 

How to extend my work permit in Canada?

To apply for an extended work permit, you must first have your employer either apply for a new Labour Market Impact Assessment, or submit a new offer of employment to the IRCC and pay the compliance fee.  If you are changing employers once the extension is decided, this applies only to your new employer.

Once your employer has done their part, you can submit the documents and forms the IRCC requires from you.  This includes an Application to Change Conditions, Extend my stay or Remain in Canada as a Worker form, and photocopies of travel or identity documents, such as your passport or birth certificate.  Other forms and photocopies of documents, (e.g. Marriage License or Certificate, biometrics, or Use of Representative form) may be required if applicable.

There are also processing fees which must be paid.  Proof of payment is required as part of the application, so applicants may want to save the receipt with your other application materials.

Note: For workers in the low-wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, the maximum allowable employment duration is being increased to 2 years.  This does not extend existing permits, but may be useful for workers in this stream when applying for an extension.

How to restore a work permit while in Canada?

A worker can apply to restore their work permit after it expires if they apply within 90 days.  This requires the applicant to continue meeting the conditions and requirements of their stay, and provide details about why they did not extend their status or leave the country when it expired.  This also involves a fee.

 

Can I Extend my Study Permit?

If you are in Canada with a study permit, you can apply to extend your stay either by applying to extend your study permit, or applying for a visitor record.  (If you apply for a visitor record, this will change your status and you may not be able to study in Canada once your study permit expires.  For information on applying for a visitor record, see “How to extend a visitor visa while in Canada” above.)

Once the application is made, you can remain in Canada under the conditions of your current study permit, even after that permit expires, until a decision is made about the extension.

A study permit expires on the earlier of:

  • The expiry date given on the study permit, or
  • 90 days after your studies are complete

 

How to extend my study permit in Canada

To apply for an extended study permit, you must be attending a school the IRCC has listed as a Designated Learning Institution (“DLI”) (check if your school is a DLI on the IRCC website here).  If your school is not a DLI, you may still apply if you transfer to a DLI school.

If your school is a DLI, you can submit the documents and forms the IRCC requires from you.  This includes an Application to Change Conditions, Extend my stay or Remain in Canada as a Student form, and photocopies of travel or identity documents, such as your passport or birth certificate.  Other forms and photocopies of documents, (e.g. Marriage License or Certificate, or Use of Representative form) may be required if applicable.

There are also processing fees which must be paid.  Proof of payment is required as part of the application, so applicants may want to save the receipt with your other application materials.

 

How to restore a study permit while in Canada?

A student can apply to restore their study permit after it expires if they apply within 90 days.  This requires the applicant to continue meeting the conditions and requirements of their stay, and provide details about why they did not extend their status or leave the country when it expired.  This also involves a fee.

 

How can Chaudhary Law Office Help?

Chaudhary Law Office practices exclusively in the area of immigration and refugee law.  We advise clients on immigration status and family sponsorships, represent them before the Immigration and Refugee Board and at all levels of the Federal Court, and help them in preparing and submitting applications.

If you are a temporary resident, worker or student in Canada, and are concerned about extending your status, contact us.

 

The Immigration Webinar You Can't Miss on March 21 2024 at 1800 (i.e. 6 pm ET)

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