Extending Your Stay in Canada During the Coronavirus
Updated: May 25, 2020
In light of the travel restrictions and border closures implemented as a result of the coronavirus, many temporary residents are looking to extend their stay in Canada. If you entered Canada as a visitor or temporary resident, you must take action to extend your legal status as a visitor.
Study Permit Renewal
International students can apply to renew their study permit. In order to renew their study permit, students must explain why a new authorization is required to continue studying in Canada. Part-time students and students seeking to change programs or schools may experience more difficulty doing this. The study permit extension must fit into the student’s academic plan and remain consistent with their career aspirations.
Work Permit Renewal
To extend a work permit, most workers will need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Many employers and foreign nationals believe that this process must be completed only once, prior to submission of the first work permit application. However, workers and employers must re-apply for an LMIA when applying for a work permit extension.
For work permits that do not require an LMIA, the application must provide proof of the worker’s eligibility to work (as in in the initial application).
The LMIA expiry date is the date by which the TFW must have applied for a work permit. If the TFW has not applied by that date, the LMIA is no longer valid and employers must apply for a new LMIA, if they still wish to hire a TFW.
The LMIA duration date is based on ESDC/Service Canada's assessment of an application for an LMIA. It identifies the recommended length of time that a work permit could be issued to a TFW without negatively impacting the Canadian labour market.
The work permit expiry date is determined by IRCC when the TFW applies for a work permit. It indicates how long the TFW will be allowed to work and reside in Canada.
Visitor Visa Renewal
Visitors have a relatively short period of time to apply for an extension of their visa because they are generally granted a stay in Canada for a maximum period of 6 months as a time.
When a visitor submits an application to extend their stay, they must indicate the reason for extending their stay. The Canadian Government is wary of those applicants attempting to stay in Canada permanently on temporary status. As such, the applicant must clearly and adequately justify their need to extend their stay in Canada and prove that they will return home at the end of their stay.
Implied status refers to situations where an application to extend status is submitted while the foreign national’s permit or visa is still valid. In such cases, the foreign national may remain in Canada beyond the expiry date of their status until a decision is made on their application for extension.
During this period, the conditions to which their status was subject, and the privileges it conferred on them, are extended even beyond the expiry date. This means that a worker can continue to work, a student can continue to study, and a visitor is simply allowed to remain in Canada as a visitor.
In most cases, we recommend that foreign nationals do not leave Canada while on implied status. If a foreign national leaves Canada on implied status, they risk being denied entry at the Canadian border and losing their status in Canada.
Application Processing Times April 2020 (Coronavirus)
IRCC typically recommends that foreign nationals apply to extend their stay in Canada 30 days before their status expires. However, with the emergence of COVID-19 (coronavirus), application processing time has substantially increased. As such, we recommend that applicants looking to extend their status should begin working on their extension as soon as they are aware they will be seeking an extension.
Visa processing will be impacted by this unexpected pandemic and it is wise to begin extension preparations as soon as possible to take into account potential delays.
For more information, you may find these pages helpful:
Calver and Associates is a leading provider of Canadian Immigration services in Durham Region. We serve clients in Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, and beyond. Our Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant has over 10 years of experience in Canadian Immigration law and over four years of experience serving those in the Oshawa area.
We can provide assistance with applications for both temporary and permanent residency in Canada. We handle applications for study permits, permanent residency, family class sponsorship, visitor visas, work permits, and Canadian citizenship. We also handle criminal inadmissibility cases by developing remedies for refusal.