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What is Maintained Status (formerly implied status)

Posted on 13/04/2021

What used to be called Implied Status – the legal status a temporary resident in Canada has after their temporary visa expires, IF they apply to extend their visitor visa (status), work permit, or study permit before the document’s expiry date – will now be called the following:

Maintained Status, in  other words, Maintained Status (formerly called Implied Status) is the legal status you have after your document expires and until a decision is reached on your extension.

How to get a Maintained Status

You need to apply to extend your temporary visa, study permit, or work permit before the expiry date, and comply with all other requirements of your visitor visa or temporary permit save for the expiry date. This includes remaining in Canada and not leaving the country. If you do leave the country while your application for an extension is being processed then:

  • You may be able to re-enter Canada pending a decision on your request for an extension, Or
  • You can apply for a new work (or study) permit at your Port of Entry when you re-enter Canada.
    • This means that you must pay new fees and provide supporting documents much the same way you did when you originally applied for the work (or study) visa.
    • However, to do so you must either be visa-exempt or hold a multiple-entry visa

The principal point is that Maintained Status ends upon departure from Canada. You must remain in Canada to have Maintained Status.

  • If you do return to Canada before a decision on your extension request, then you cannot work until that decision is made and only if it is a favourable decision.
  • As well if you return before a decision on your work permit is made, you must prove to the border services officer that you have the funds to support yourself and that you will not work (or study) until and if you are authorized for an extension.

Let’s now consider the effects on work and study permits as well as visitor status.

Work & Study Permits & Visitor Visas

Under IRPA’s section 186 a foreign national may work without a work permit under a number of listed conditions. 186 (u) allows a foreign national to work in Canada without a work permit:

(u) until a decision is made on an application made by them under subsection 201(1), if they have remained in Canada after the expiry of their work permit and they have continued to comply with the conditions set out on the expired work permit, other than the expiry date;

Subsection 201 (1) refers to when a foreign national applies for an extension of their work permit:

201 (1) A foreign national may apply for the renewal of their work permit if

  • (a)the application is made before their work permit expires; and
  • (b)they have complied with all conditions imposed on their entry into Canada.

In other words, if you have complied with all the other requirements and you apply for an extension before the work permit’s expiry date then you can continue to work in Canada without a work permit until a decision is reached – one way or the other – on your application for an extension.

  • Highly skilled foreign workers and other workers who are exempt from having to obtain work permits are not affected by Maintained Status as they have not had to apply for a work permit.

To apply for a work permit extension, you have to fill out form IMM 5710: Application to Change Conditions, Extend my Stay or Remain in Canada as a Worker. Remember to file it before your current permit expires. As well, any conditions attached to your initial work permit continue to apply while you have Maintained Status. For example:

  • An employer-specific work permit means you must continue to work for the same employer.
  • An open work permit holder can, on the other hand, work for any employer until a decision is made on the extension.
  • An open work permit holder with an occupation restriction must continue to work only in the permitted occupation during their period of Maintained Status.

Usually, when your application for an extension is received by IRCC you will:

  • First receive a TR Acknowledgment of Receipt sent automatically by IRCC’s Global Case Management System (GCMS)
  • You will then receive a second letter – called IMM 5988 – WP-EXT only except PGWP authorizing you to continue working in Canada
    • This second letter will have a 120-day validity period from the date of receipt. This is to provide date-specific data to employers who have been reluctant to allow temporary workers to work under Maintained Status.
    • However, the letter is in fact valid until a decision is reached on the extension, regardless of whether that takes more than 120 days. Most decisions on extensions to temporary status (work and study permits and visitor visas) are reached within 120 days.
  • However, if your application for an extension is refused you will then have a 90-day restoration period beginning on the date your application is refused. You can use this period to apply for a restoration of status.
  • If you withdraw your extension application then your period of authorized stay under Maintained Status ends on the day your withdrawal is registered at IRCC.
  • If your application is rejected as incomplete then the applicant is in legal status until their existing temporary status expires – usually on the date their work permit, study permit, or visitor status expires.

Eligibility to apply for an extension

To be eligible to apply for an extension you must be in compliance with IRPR (Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations) sections 179 and 181.

Section 179 means you have to:

  • Have applied legally and obtained legal temporary status with your existing permit or visa
  • Leave Canada at the end of your authorized stay
  • Have a valid passport or other travel document
    • This means that your extension – if granted – cannot be longer than the date your passport or other travel document expires
  • Meet all the requirements for a temporary student, worker, or visitor
  • NOT be inadmissible (be admissible in other words)
  • Submit to a medical exam if you present health concerns
  • Not subject to a Ministerial Declaration that prevents you from coming to Canada due to public policy concerns

The most common cause for concern here is whether you will leave Canada after your extension. An immigration official will look at various factors to determine this including:

  • Whether the purpose of your extension is frivolous or instead a well-planned visit
  • Whether your prolonged stay in Canada is reasonable given your circumstances in your home country
  • Whether you have the means to support yourself
  • Whether you have the means to pay for a return ticket to go back to your home country or country of residence
  • Whether the original purpose of your visit has been fulfilled
  • If you are applying for an extension of a visitor visa, then immigration officials will look at whether you have been or might work or study without a permit

Section 181 lists the 2 main conditions for applying for an extension that we already mentioned above:

  • The application is made before your current permit/status expires
  • All the other conditions of your permit/visa have been complied with

The Procedure for extending your temporary permit/status is as follows:

I. The Case Processing Centre in Edmonton (CPC-E) receives your application package and ensures the correct fee has been paid and all supporting documents are enclosed.

II. A Service Delivery Agent at CPC-E evaluates your eligibility for a renewal and decides whether or not to grant an extension.

  • If the extension is approved a Visitor Record outlining the conditions of the extension is mailed to the applicant.
  • If the applicant’s status has expired (the application was sent after the study/work permit or visitor visa expiry date) or the applicant is in violation of some other provision of IRPA or IRPR, then eligibility for restoration of status is assessed and:
    • If the applicant is not eligible for restoration of status then the Minister’s delegate decides on what is called a disposition for the case:
      • Inquiry – further look into the case
      • Departure order – order the applicant to leave Canada
      • Allowed to remain – allow the applicant to remain in Canada
  • If a medical examination is required (depending on where the applicant is from and how long they will have been or have been in Canada – especially if that time is 6 months or longer) then an IMM 1017: Medical Examination form will be mailed to the applicant along with a panel physician list and instructions.
  • If an interview is required for one of the reasons listed below, then the applicant is referred to the local IRCC office nearest the applicant’s residence in Canada.
    • Applicant ceased to be a visitor, student, or temporary worker
    • Applicant’s purpose for the extension is suspect
    • Immigration officials need more information

Processing times in this last case will be those of that local IRCC office.

III. An inland officer reviews the file and schedules an interview with the applicant at which the officer either refuses or approves the application.

  • If the extension is approved then a Visitor Record outlining the conditions is issued and given to the applicant.
  • If the extension is refused the applicant is advised of the decision and advised to leave Canada.

IV. Sometimes CPC-E will outright refuse an application for an extension based on sufficient evidence supporting their concerns about the applicant. If CPC-E refuses an application then a letter is mailed to the applicant notifying them of the decision to refuse the extension as well as the reasons for the refusal. As well the letter advises the applicant that they have the option of:

  • Leaving Canada, or
  • If eligible, applying for restoration of status within 90 days of the date of notice.

V. The official/agent’s decision is documented in IRCC’s Global Case Management System (GCMS)


Posted in News Tips and tagged Study Permit, Visitor status, Visitor Visa, Work Permit

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