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Get Maintained Status

Get Maintained Status

How to Get Maintained Status


Under Canadian law, all temporary residents have an automatically imposed condition that they have to leave Canada by the end of their authorized period of stay. However, temporary residents can apply to extend their period of authorized stay before the period ends. Assuming they do so, Canadian law states their period of authorized stay as a temporary resident is automatically extended until a decision is made on their application.

If a temporary resident applies for a renewal of their work or study permit before their existing permit expires, they are authorized to work or study in Canada without a permit under the same conditions until a decision is made on their application and as long as they remain in Canada.

For example, a temporary worker who submits an application to extend his or work permit before it expires can remain in Canada and continue working while awaiting a decision. However, if the temporary worker has applied for a different type of permit — for example, a study permit — he or she must cease working on the date his or her current permit expires.

If the application is approved, the individual (and his or her family, if applicable) may remain in Canada under the conditions of the new permit. The new permit will state the date of issue. This may mean that there is a period between the expiry of one permit and the issue of the next permit. However, this should not pose a problem if the individual should later apply for permanent residence as it is accepted by immigration officers that this period is covered by maintained status. The permit will generally also state that the holder maintained their status until the new permit was issued.

Date and time of application

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) uses Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) around the world to make sure that time is equal for all. As such, all applications must be submitted before midnight UTC on the date the applicant’s status is set to expire. Applications submitted after midnight UTC on the date of expiry results in the applicant losing their right to maintain their status.

Leaving Canada while on maintained status

It is important to note that maintained status applies only as long as the applicant remains in Canada. If a temporary resident in Canada on maintained status leaves the country, he or she may be permitted to re-enter as a temporary resident Canada if:

  • He or she is exempt from the requirement for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV); or
  • He or she has a TRV.

However, an individual with maintained status would not be able to resume his or her work or studies (as applicable) until a decision is made on the application for the extension of status. Additionally, he or she may have to provide evidence to the officer at the Port of Entry of sufficient means of financial support while awaiting the decision. It is strongly recommended that anyone under maintained status who leaves Canada brings proof of application for an extension of his or her permit.

In effect, an individual with maintained status (either to work or study) gives up his or her right to work or study upon leaving Canada, until a decision is made on the application to work or study in Canada.

For example, if a student who has applied to extend his or her study permit leaves Canada, he or she may be able to re-enter the country. However, he or she would then not be able to resume his or her studies until a decision is made on the application. If he or she had remained in Canada on maintained status, he or she could have continued to study in Canada legally.