Overstay – Out of Status

If you are a foreign national who is in Canada on a work permit, study permit, or as a visitor, and you remain beyond the validity of your permit (or for visitors usually 6 months, or as stated on your passport or Visitor Record) you are considered to be out of status. A person without status in Canada is at risk of removal. To avoid this, you can either leave Canada or, if your status expired in the last 90 days, apply for restoration of status. It is recommended that you always comply with the conditions of your stay; the fact that you overstayed in Canada will appear on your immigration file and may negatively affect future applications. If this happens to you, you should consult us to assess options.

Obviously, to avoid overstaying, you should apply for an extension of your status in Canada before the expiry of your current status.  In some situations, you may also request to change your status, for example switching from student to visitor. During the processing of your extension application, you will remain in status even though your official status has expired.  This is called “implied status” and it is also subject to certain conditions.  If your application for an extension is ultimately refused, you will be considered out of status as of the date of the refusal letter.

Some people end up staying in Canada without status for a very long time for a variety of reasons.  People in this situation find it extremely stressful and there is a constant fear of deportation; at the same time, they feel stuck and are too afraid to face the issue. Immigration laws of Canada can be forgiving of these situations in certain circumstances, and it is essential to obtain legal advice. If you are in this situation, we can advise you on whether an application for permanent residence on Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds could be the solution for you.