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How To Extend Your Stay In Canada During The Coronavirus Pandemic?

Whether you are a student, worker or visitor to Canada, it is of the utmost importance that you extend your stay in the right manner.

However, extending your stay in Canada may prove even more complicated than usual given the ongoing travel bans, border closures, and restrictions implemented to curb coronavirus (COVID-19).

Study permit renewal

In order to renew your study permit, you need to explain why a new authorization is required to continue your studies in Canada. This can be difficult to do if you are not a full-time student or you change programs or schools. The extension must fit into your academic plan and ultimately be consistent with your career aspirations.

Work permit renewal

Work permit extensions are normally problematic as you require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Many foreign nationals and employers believe that this process must be completed only once, as a requirement to the first work permit application.

However, the effect of the foreign national on the Canadian labour force must be re-accessed when applying for an extension. For exceptional work permits that don’t require labour assessments, or that provide for a facilitated LMIA, proof of the worker’s eligibility should be provided in the same manner as the first application.

Visitor visa renewal

Compared with workers and students, visitors have the least amount of time to file for extensions since they are normally granted a stay in Canada for at least six months at a time.

The reason for wanting to prolong your stay in Canada must be clearly indicated when you are submitting an extension request. The Canadian government is wary of people trying to live in Canada permanently on a temporary visa status. The responsibility is on you to justify the extension and show that you will indeed return home at the end of your stay in Canada.

Implied Status

The concept of implied status can play a significant role with respect to the extension of a stay in Canada, regardless of the status in question.

Implied status refers to situations where an application to extend status is lodged while your permit or visa is still valid. In such instances, you may remain in Canada beyond the expiry date of your status until a decision is made on your application for extension.

During this period, the conditions to which your status was subject, and the privileges it conferred on you, are extended even beyond the expiry date. This means that a student can continue to study, a worker can continue to work, and a visitor is simply allowed to stay in Canada as a visitor.

There is an important aspect of this rule and it applies to the foreign citizens who leave and re-enter Canada while they are on implied status. If a foreign citizen does so, regardless of the reason for departure, implied status is normally lost and the discretion to allow the foreign citizen to re-enter the country lies with the border officer at the port of entry.

Although Canada’s immigration department guidelines recommend that you apply for an extension of your temporary stay thirty (30) days before your status expires, it is not a binding rule. But, because of the many questions that may come up with respect to extending status in Canada, people looking to extend their stay should begin working on their extension as early as possible they are aware they will be seeking an extension.

This is particularly necessary with the emergence of COVID-19 as it is uncertain how visa processing will be affected by this unexpected pandemic and it is wise to begin extension preparations as early as possible to take into account potential delays.