How to get maintained status in Canada

09 August, 2022

How to get maintained status in Canada

Maintained status in Canada, previously known as implied status, is when a worker, visitor, or student applies to extend or change their temporary status in Canada before that status expires. In some such cases, the applicant can legally remain in Canada under the conditions of their previous status until a decision is made on the new application.


In such a scenario, the person has maintained status (again, previously known as implied status). This maintained status in Canada remains until the government decides on your new application to work or study in Canada.


Maintained status can let you continue working in Canada if you have already been working in Canada on a work permit. Or, it can let you continue studying in Canada if you have been in Canada on a study permit. Or, you may be able to remain as a visitor if you held visitor status at the time you applied for an extension or change of temporary status in Canada.


How do I get maintained status in Canada?

To maintain status, you must already be a visitor, student, or worker in Canada. Then, you must apply for an extension of your current or new permit before your current status expires. In such a scenario, you are automatically granted maintained status — you do not need to apply for it separately.


But — be careful — after your current status expires, you may have significant changes to what you’re allowed to do in Canada (i.e. work and/or study).


Maintained status for work permit holders


You are allowed to continue working until a decision is reached on your application, but you must work under the same conditions as your original work permit. You must remain in Canada to maintain your authorization to work.


Notably, suppose you applied for a new work permit through International Experience Canada (IEC), which includes the popular Working Holiday program. In that case, you cannot continue to work after your original permit expires and while you await a decision on your IEC application.


If you applied for a study permit or visitor record


You cannot continue working after your original work permit expires. For example, if you have a work permit and apply for a study permit: once your work permit expires, you cannot work nor study until you receive a decision on your study permit application. You can, however, remain in Canada while awaiting a decision.


If you have applied to extend your original study permit, you can continue studying while awaiting a decision on your application. However, if you apply for a new study permit, then you must stop studying once your original study permit expires until you receive a decision on your new study permit.


If you applied for a new type of status (i.e. work permit or visitor record), you could not continue studying once your original study permit expires. For example, if you applied for a work permit, you could not begin working until you receive a decision on that application. But, you can remain in Canada while you await a decision.


To benefit from maintained status, you must apply for your new status while your existing status remains valid. Many stakeholders, including IRCC, suggest you should apply at least 30 days before your current status expires.


Can I leave Canada while on maintained status?

People with maintained status in Canada should note that if they leave Canada, they can expect to forfeit their right to continue working in Canada until a decision is reached on their application.


In other words, if you have been working in Canada on the maintained status and leave Canada, you won’t be able to continue working when you return — at least, not until the government approves your new application.


Applicants must weigh the pros and cons of leaving Canada while maintaining their status. Some people choose to miss family events abroad, for example, to continue having an unbroken right to work in Canada. If you are tempted to forego this right because you need to travel abroad, for whatever reason, you should ensure that you have access to adequate funds or savings until your application may be approved, which can take a few months in some cases.


Is maintained status the same as implied status?


In 2021, IRCC decided to change the name of this type of status from ‘implied status’ to ‘maintained status.’ There is no fundamental change except for the name. According to an official government release to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) staff, “implied status” caused much confusion among officers and applicants because it was a carry-over term from previous legislation, mainly because “implied” is not a typical term used for legal status.

Therefore, IRCC replaced “implied” with “maintained” in its public pages and instructions, which have been updated to clarify that applicants who have applied to extend their status benefit from an extension of their period of authorized stay by law.

Contact us for more information and to file your maintained status.

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