What is maintained status?
Maintained status is the new name for implied status as of 2021. The rules and application of implied status have not changed – only the name.
What is implied status?
When a temporary resident such as a worker, student, or visitor, who is Canada submits an application to extend their stay from inside Canada, BEFORE their status expires, and without leaving, they are considered to have implied/maintained status.
A person with implied status is allowed to continue the activity they were already doing in Canada under the same conditions as their original authorization allowed. Workers may continue to work, students may continue to study, and visitors may continue to visit.
Implied/maintained status is another way of saying “legal status inside Canada”. However, a person with implied status, even though they are still legally inside the country, does not have any specific document confirming that they are allowed to stay in Canada – their only proof of legal status is their previous status document + proof that they submitted an application to extend their temporary stay inside Canada such as online submission confirmation letter.
A status document is a document such as a:
Many visitors who enter Canada no longer receive a stamp when they are granted entry by CBSA. If you are a temporary resident such as a visitor, your passport stamp if you have one, or your flight itinerary if you do not have a stamp, is the confirmation of when you entered Canada and therefore when you are supposed to leave.
Implied/Maintained Status – What do the regulations Say?
Implied Status is governed by sections 183 and 186 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations:
(5) Subject to subsection (5.1), if a temporary resident has applied for an extension of the period authorized for their stay and a decision is not made on the application by the end of the period authorized for their stay, the period is extended until
(a) the day on which a decision is made, if the application is refused; or
(b) the end of the new period authorized for their stay, if the application is allowed.
This means that as long as a worker, student, or visitor has applied to extend their stay in Canada BEFORE their status expired, then they can continue doing whatever they were already authorized to do, under the same conditions which originally applied to their stay. AND, they may continue to do so until a decision is made on this application for extension no matter how long it takes for the decision to be made.
(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;
For example, workers on an open work permit may continue working for their same employer, or they may begin working for a new employer or in a new position. Workers on an LMIA-specific work permit may only continue working in the same position and for the same employer that they were already authorized to work for.
Students may continue their studies in due course. If they were already allowed to work, they may continue to do so under the same conditions (20 hours per week during school session and fulltime while school is out). If the student was not allowed to work before their study permit expired, then they are still not allowed to work.
Visitors, who were never allowed to work may not begin to do so while they are on implied status.
What happens if I leave Canada on implied status?
Worker: If you are currently on implied status as a worker, then you can continue working under the original conditions in place when you entered Canada. If you leave Canada while on implied status as a worker, you will NOT be able to work in Canada when you return until your new work permit is issued.
Student: If you are currently on implied status as a student, then you can continue studying (and working if you were allowed with your study permit) until your new study permit is issued. If you leave Canada while on implied status as a student, you will NOT be allowed to study in Canada when you return until your new study permit is issued. The only exception to this is if you are a minor studying at the primary or secondary school level (in this case, you are allowed to study without a permit). If you are over 18 and/or studying at the postsecondary level, you will not be allowed to study until you receive your new study permit.
Visitor: If you are currently on implied status as a visitor, then you are not allowed to work or study anyway. If you leave Canada while on implied status as a visitor, then you will enter Canada again as a visitor the next time you return. Every time you re-enter Canada as a visitor, the time you are allowed to remain in Canada starts over from 0. While the final decision of how long you can stay is determined by Canada Border Services Agency when you enter, nearly everyone is granted the full 6 months allowed as a visitor. Leaving Canada while on implied status as a visitor has no negative impact on your status in Canada.
How long does implied status last?
There are several things which may bring an end to implied/maintained status:
- The person with implied status leaves Canada – implied status only exists as long as the temporary resident remains inside Canada. If they leave Canada while on implied status, then their implied status is gone. They may be allowed to return to Canada as a visitor (assuming they have the requisite documentation such as eTA or visa), but they will not be allowed to continue working or studying even if they were previously a worker or student.
- The application for extension is approved – once the application is approved, then the temporary resident no longer has implied status. Now they have actual status! Once they receive their new work permit or study permit they may now leave Canada for that long-awaited vacation and then continue their work or studies when they return.
- The application for extension is refused – once the application is refused, then the worker or student must stop working or studying immediately as they no longer have authorization to do so. The temporary resident must leave Canada right away, or apply for restoration of their status if they are eligible. If they are no longer eligible for restoration, then they may be eligible to apply for a Temporary Resident Permit.
- The application for extension was returned as incomplete – in this situation, you never really had implied status to begin with. In this situation, you must either apply to restore your status if eligible, or apply for a TRP.
Can I apply for a work permit or study permit while on implied/maintained status?
Yes! Assuming you are eligible to apply, you must have valid temporary status in Canada (such as worker, student, or visitor) in order to submit a new application for temporary status (such as work permit or study permit) from inside Canada. If you do not have valid status in Canada, then you cannot submit a temporary status application while inside Canada. If your status already expired, you would either need to apply to restore your temporary status (and wait for the restoration to be approved), or leave Canada and make your work permit or study permit application from outside Canada.
However, implied status is valid status, so you are able to apply to change conditions or for a new type of status such as a work permit or study permit from inside Canada if you are on implied status. Please note that this cannot be done if you have submitted an application to restore your status. If you have applied to restore your status, you will not have valid status again until the restoration is approved.
Contact us if you aren’t sure whether you have implied status or if you are eligible to submit an application from inside Canada.
Is work experience gained on implied status eligible for a PR application?
YES! As long as the worker was legally authorized to work in Canada, even if their application for work permit extension was refused, any work accrued up until the day of the refusal counts toward their PR application eligibility.
How do I get implied/maintained status?
You must submit an application to extend your stay or change conditions. This must be done
- BEFORE your status expires, and
- Almost always ONLINE (there are very limited circumstances which allow for paper applications)
Is implied status automatic when I submit an application for PR?
No – even if you have applied for permanent residence such as through sponsorship or express entry, you do not automatically acquire implied status in Canada. In order to continue to maintain valid (legal) temporary status in Canada, you need to submit an application to extend your status such as a bridging open work permit or visitor extension before your current temporary status expires, regardless of any application for permanent residence which has been submitted.
Can I become a permanent resident while I am on implied status?
Absolutely. Implied/Maintained status is legal status in Canada, so you can become a permanent resident under any PR stream while you are in Canada on implied status.
However, if you are out of status such as if your application for an extension were refused or returned, then you will likely need to leave Canada in order to become a permanent resident. Very few PR streams, such as Spouse or Common-Law Partner In Canada Class, will allow an applicant to become a PR while they have no legal status in Canada.
Contact us if you have additional questions about implied status.