Maintaining Status Inside Canada

by | May 20, 2021

If you are currently inside Canada and you are on a study permit or on a work permit that is about to expire, and you intend to apply for an extension of your status in Canada, what happens between the time when your application has been filed and the time that a decision is made? Typically, it can take a significant amount of time, often several months for a decision to be made on an application to extend your status.

Therefore, if your current work or study permit has expired and you have applied for a renewal of that work or study permit before the expiration of your current one, then you will fall into what is known as maintained status, previously known as implied status. The Canadian Government recently changed the name to maintained status but the two are the same. 

What is Maintained Status?

Maintained status simply means that you would have maintained whatever status that you had before the expiration of your current status document. Your status will be maintained during that period of time, within which you are waiting for a decision to be made on your application to extend your status.

For instance, you will be able to continue working under the same conditions that would have been attached to your initial work permit. You would be able to continue working while in maintained status and be required to conform to the same conditions that existed previously. The same applies to persons on study permits as well as persons who have applied to extend their status in Canada as a visitor. 

The ultimate qualification is that you are in Canada as a temporary resident and have applied to have your current status extended just before the expiration date of your document, which is usually written inside the document. In such cases, you would have fallen into the implied status and you would be able to continue studying or working, or being a visitor until the extension decision is made.

Traveling During Maintained Status

While you are on maintained status, you may be able to travel outside of Canada. However, it will be dependent on the discretion of the Canadian immigration officer who will be reviewing your file at the time you will be trying to return to Canada, to decide whether or not to grant you entry into Canada while you are on maintained status.

For instance, the immigration officer would want to be sure that you can financially maintain yourself while you are in Canada. This is because while the immigration officer may be able to admit you back into Canada, once you are on a maintained status and you leave Canada, you will not be able to resume working or resume studying since you would have lost your maintained status. 

Therefore, it is advisable to try and not travel outside Canada at all during this period because if you do, you lose your maintained status. Once you lose your maintained status you will not be able to resume working or studying until a decision is made on your application. Whereas, if you had not left Canada at all, you would have been able to continue working on the same conditions until a decision was made. Hence, you must remain in maintained status up until a decision is made.

Refusal of Extension Application

If your application is refused, then your maintained status ends on the day that your application is refused. However, it does not mean that you would have been working unauthorized from the date your previous obligation expired. Instead, you would have been carrying out authorized work while on maintained status up until the date that your application was refused.

If your application was rejected for being incomplete, it means that you would not have enjoyed maintained status at all. Technically, your status in Canada would have expired on the date that would have been written onto the face of your previous status documents such as your work or study permit. 

Hence, when you are applying to extend your status in Canada, you need to ensure that your application to extend is done properly to avoid it being rejected for being incomplete. This is crucial because while you would have been waiting on a decision thinking that you were on maintained status, in reality, you would have been actually in Canada unauthorized. Should this happen, there is a different separate measure that you would need to take to restore your status to what it was previously.


If you are currently in Canada on a work permit or study permit or as a visitor and your status is about to expire, you will need to apply to extend your status. During that period within which you are waiting for a decision to be made on your extension application, you would have entered into maintained status. 

A maintained status allows you to continue having legal authorization to remain in Canada and continue doing whatever activity it was that you were lawfully doing inside Canada until your status application is approved. Also, bear in mind that the name changed from implied status to maintained status, which makes it a little easier for persons to understand the concept.

Let Us Help

In case you are a temporary resident in Canada and your status document is about to expire, we are available to help you put together a complete status extension application should you be interested in extending your status. 

We are also happy to provide the best professional advice in case you have any questions or inquiries regarding maintaining your status in Canada.

Please feel free to contact us. Book a call with us today!


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