How to Extend Your Stay in Canada

Published on: March 20th, 2020

There are many reasons a foreign national may need to extend their stay in Canada. If you entered Canada as a visitor or temporary resident, and need to stay longer, you must take action to extend your legal status as a visitor.

Find out how you can immigrate permanently to Canada

Extending your stay as a visitor

If you entered Canada as a visitor, you would have entered on one of two documents:

  • an electronic travel authorization (eTA)
  • visitor visa (also called a temporary resident visa)

If you would like to stay in Canada longer, you need to apply for a visitor record.

When do I need to apply?

It is important that you apply before your current status expires. Canada allows most visitors to stay for up to 6 months.

If you entered Canada through a primary inspection kiosk, your status expires 6 months from your date of entry or when your passport expires, whichever comes first.

What is a visitor record?

A visitor record is not a visa. It is a document that gives you status in Canada and allows you to remain in Canada legally.  Your visitor record will have an expiry date, at which point you must leave the country or submit another extension to remain in Canada legally.

A visitor record does not guarantee you re-entry to Canada should you choose to leave the country.

Extending your stay as a temporary resident

If you are a visitortemporary worker, or student, you may apply to renew your status.

In order to be eligible, you must:

  • Submit your application before the original expiry date of your status
  • Continue to meet the initial requirements of your stay
  • Abide by all the conditions of your status (i.e. not working or studying without authorization)
  • Meet the requirements of the category under which you are currently applying to be restored as a temporary resident

How to apply

To apply to extend your stay, you must complete an application package and provide your personal information and necessary documents. You may apply through the online portal here.

Each member of your family who wishes to extend their stay in Canada must apply separately. This includes your spouse or common-law partner as well as any dependent children.

The steps to apply are as follows:

  • Make sure you have all the necessary documents
  • Pay the fees
  • Make sure to fill in the forms as completely as possible. Keep a copy for your records
  • Sign and date your forms
  • Submit your application, required fees and all supporting documents online

How long will it take?

The time it takes for Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to process a visitor record will depend on how many applications they have. To check the processing time when applying, visit IRCC’s webpage here.

What happens next?

If your application is successful, you can expect to receive an immigration document granting you status and providing a new expiry date.

In the case that Canada refuses your application, you can only stay in the country until the expiry date of your current temporary resident status.

Should you be refused an extension, you have 90 days from the date of the refusal notice to apply for restoration.

If your status expires and you are waiting to receive a decision on your restoration application, you do not have the right to continue working or studying in Canada.

You must remain in Canada in order to apply for restoration of your temporary status. If you leave the country, you will be treated as though you are applying for new entry upon your return.


If you are in Canada as a visitor or a temporary resident and have exceeded the expiry date of your status, contact us today. We can help guide you through the process of restoring your status and allow you to remain in Canada legally.

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