Obtaining your work, study, or visitor’s permit may have seemed like the hard part. However, once you arrive in Canada, you still have essential rules to follow to maintain your status. Once your permit has expired, you are expected to leave the country unless you apply for an extension or restoration of status within the allowable timeframe.
Being caught in Canada on an expired visa or failing to abide by your visa conditions could result in immediate removal. To avoid this situation, you must ensure that you respect the terms of your temporary stay. However, unexpected life events happen which could impact your status, and fortunately, there are ways you can fix them without losing your ability to remain in Canada.
Here are a few examples of common situations where temporary residents run into trouble and what you can do to resolve them.
Not Following the Conditions Outlined on Your Visa
When you obtain your visa, there will be several conditions attached to it, depending on the visa you originally applied for. These terms will typically stipulate:
• The length of your stay
• Employment conditions
• Study conditions
Temporary workers are usually required to apply for a work visa. There are a few exceptions for employees in certain fields, however, most temporary workers will need a visa to work. Work visas can be either open or employer-specific. The situation is similar for students and visitors; with few exceptions, those visiting or studying in Canada will require a valid permit and must abide by the conditions outlined in the document.
Suppose your situation changes. For example, you are on an employer-specific work visa and wish to change employers or switch to another role. In that case, you must apply for a change of conditions on your existing work visa. You may not have to wait for your new work permit to be issued,but, a request needs to be submitted, and you must wait to receive an email confirmation from IRCC that you can begin your new employment before you change jobs.
Failure to apply for a change of conditions for your student, work, or visitor visa puts you in violation of the terms of your visa. It could lead to an admissibility hearing and your removal from Canada.
However, if you have violated one of the terms of your visa, you may still be eligible to apply for a restoration of status within 90 days of committing the offence. There is no guarantee that your application for restoration of status will be accepted, and while your application is being processed, you cannot continue to work or study.
Staying Longer Than Your Allowable Period
One of the conditions outlined on your temporary visa is an expiration date for your status. For example, if you were issued a 4-year student visa, your visa will expire on the specified date or when you’ve received your final grades, whichever comes first. If you have been working while studying, that status will also expire once you receive your final grades.
Students wishing to transition from a student visa to a work permit need to apply before their current visa expires. IRCC recommended leaving at least 30-days for applications to be processed. If you applied to renew or change your status before your visa expires, you are able to remain in Canada while you wait for a decision.
If your current status has expired but you wish to remain in Canada, you may apply for a restoration of status. However, you can only apply for restoration of the same type of visa as you had immediately before expiration. An international student may apply for a restoration of student status, for example, but cannot apply for a new work permit.
Receiving a Criminal Conviction
Canada has a very strict criminal code. If you have been accused of a criminal offence, for example, driving while intoxicated, you may become inadmissible to Canada on the ground of criminality, regardless of the severity of the crime or whether it is your first offence.
Upon being charged with a criminal offence, your best bet to avoid criminal inadmissibility to Canada and removal is avoiding a conviction. However, there are ways to avoid being deported, even with a guilty verdict.
If you are a temporary or permanent resident of Canada accused of a crime, a criminal attorney could be the difference between staying in Canada or being required to leave. If you worked with an immigration consultant on your application, they could be a useful resource for qualified referrals.
If you need assistance with a restoration of status application, or any other immigration related issue, the immigration consultants at 5S Immigration Solutions are always available to help.