Extend Your Stay in Canada
Visitors to Canada are automatically granted a stay of six months when they arrive to Canada, unless a Border Services Officer grants a different period. Under certain circumstances, visitors may obtain a “visitor record” which specifies a different duration or terms and conditions, or the border agent may write a specific expiry date on or below the passport entry stamp. For instance, an officer may grant a short period of stay if they have concerns about whether a visitor will attempt to work without authorization, or may grant a longer stay in a case where a child is accompanying a parent on a work permit so that the expiry of the child’s visitor status coincides with their parent’s work permit. There is often confusion between a visitor record and a visitor visa – a Temporary Resident (Visitor) Visa is a document attached to your passport allowing you to travel into Canada while a visitor record determines the length of your stay and any terms and conditions once inside Canada.
Before your visitor record expires, you have two options:
1) leave Canada – the next time you enter, you will be granted another 6 months or specified time, or
2) apply online to extend your status without leaving Canada. It is at the officer’s discretion whether to allow an extension, and this will depend on the reason for the request.
Note that you will still have valid status in Canada during the processing of your application, as long as you apply prior to the expiry of your visitor record or status. This is called “implied status”. If the application is ultimately refused, you will lose status on the date of the refusal. There is no maximum number of extensions you can get, but it will become more challenging to obtain approvals the longer you remain in Canada, unless you have a very good reason. If you let your status expire, and find that you have overstayed in Canada, you may be able to apply for “restoration of status” if you do so within 90 days. It is recommended that you always abide to the conditions of your stay; the fact that you overstayed in Canada will appear on your immigration file and may negatively affect future applications. No matter your situation, our team of experts can help you find solutions for the best possible outcome.