Canada welcomes more than 35 million temporary residents (non-immigrants) each year. Except for Canadian citizens and permanent residents, all other individuals require permission to enter Canada as a visitor.
Temporary residents wishing to extend their stay in Canada must apply to extend their permit at least 30 days before the permit expires. However, if their application is still processing when the previous permit expires, they can still remain in Canada under the same conditions of their previous permit until they receive a decision on their application.
For example, a temporary worker who submits an application to extend his or work permit before it expires can remain in Canada working in the same job for the same employer, while awaiting a decision.
However, if the temporary worker has applied for a different type of permit — for example, a work permit for a different employer, or a study permit — he or she must cease working on the date his or her current permit expires.
If the application is approved, the individual (and his or her family, if applicable) may remain in Canada under the conditions of the new permit. The new permit will state the date of issue. This may mean that there is a period between the expiry of one permit and the issue of the next permit. However, this should not pose a problem if the individual should later apply for permanent residence as it is accepted by immigration officers that this period is covered by maintained status. The permit will generally also state that the holder maintained their status until the new permit was issued.
Leaving Canada while on maintained status
It is important to note that maintained status applies only as long as the applicant remains in Canada. If a temporary resident in Canada on implied status leaves the country, he or she may be permitted to re-enter as a temporary resident Canada if:
He or she is exempt from the requirement for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV); or
He or she has a TRV.
However, an individual with maintained status would not be able to resume his or her work or studies (as applicable) until a decision is made on the application for the extension of status. Additionally, he or she may have to provide evidence to the officer at the Port of Entry of sufficient means of financial support while awaiting the decision. It is strongly recommended that anyone under maintained status who leaves Canada brings proof of application for an extension of his or her permit.
In effect, an individual with maintained status (either to work or study) gives up his or her right to work or study upon leaving Canada, until a decision is made on the application to work or study in Canada.
For example, if a student who has applied to extend his or her study permit leaves Canada, he or she may be able to re-enter the country. However, he or she would then not be able to resume his or her studies until a decision is made on the application. If he or she had remained in Canada on maintained status, he or she could have continued to study in Canada legally.
For more information, consult the Maintained Status in Canada Frequently Asked Questions page.