Temporary Residents To Apply By Mail To Stay In Canada

Temporary residents currently living in Canada and seeking to extend their stay must apply electronically unless they are one of the exceptions.

Electronic applications became compulsory for most temporary residence applications since on June 4, 2019. Applications need to be forwarded electronically if foreign nationals want to:

  • restore or extend their immigration status;
  • work or study in Canada; or
  • come to Canada as part of a youth mobility arrangements.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Canada’s immigration department, gave some exceptions to this rule.

Exceptional Circumstances

In IRCC’s words, “exceptional circumstances beyond the control of foreign nationals, entities or individuals” can be grounds for bypassing the online application requirements.

Applicants may fall under this exemption if they cannot lodge applications electronically because of incompatible or inadequate electronic infrastructure in their country.

Exceptional circumstances may also include political turmoil, natural disaster, or another situation that limits their access to electronic communication.


People who are not able to apply electronically due to disability-related issues are also exempt. Instead, they may apply by a paper application.

Systems restrictions

There are basically two online tools for Canadian immigration applications:

  • Come to Canada tool: for checking eligibility online; or
  • MyAccount: applicant register and log in using GCKey or a Sign-In Partner.

IRCC says these tools are not adequate for some applicants inside Canada, so these people are exempted from the mandatory online application.

Here below are the forms that are exempt from the electronic application requirements for applicants applying from inside Canada:

If the foreign national has an authorized paid representatives or Attorneys with access to Canada’s APR portal, the representative is required to lodge the applications electronically on behalf of their clients.

Extending your stay as a temporary resident

If you are a temporary worker, student, or visitor you may apply to renew your status.

In order to be eligible, you have to:

  • Submit your application prior to the expiry date of your status
  • Continue to meet the initial requirement of your stay
  • Abide by all the conditions of your status (i.e. not studying or working without authorization)
  • Meet the requirements of the class under which you are presently applying to be restored as a temporary resident

How to apply

You will be asked to complete an application package and provide your personal information and other important documents. You may apply via the online portal here.

Each member of your family who wishes to extend or restore their stay in Canada must apply separately. This includes your common-law partner or spouse as well as any dependent children.

The procedures to apply are as follows:

  • Ensure you have all the necessary documents
  • Pay the fees
  • Ensure you fill in the forms as completely as possible and keep a copy for your records
  • Sign and date your forms
  • Submit your application, necessary fees and all supporting documents online