I have temporary status and can’t leave because of COVID-19. What can I do?

If you can't leave Canada because of COVID-19 and your temporary status to study, visit, or work is about to expire, you can apply to extend your temporary status. In your application, you will need to explain why you can't leave. For example, the airport may be closed in your country, or there are no flights from Canada to your country.

Status about to expire

Apply online to IRCC before your current status expires.

Use the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) document checklist and guide for extending your stay as a:

You will also have to pay the correct fee.

If your temporary status is extended, you will receive the appropriate permit. The permit outlines the conditions of your stay in Canada and it is valid until a specific date. If you want to stay in Canada beyond this date, you will need to apply to extend your status again.

If your status expired less than 90 days ago

Usually IRCC only allows you to apply to restore your status if it has been less than 90 days since it expired. If this is your situation, you can apply to restore your status using one of the IRCC document checklists and guides listed above. In your application, explain why you need to restore your status and why you didn't apply to extend your status before it expired.

If you want to apply for a different temporary status, for example, you had a visitor permit and you now want a work permit, get legal advice.

If costs more to restore your status than it does to extend it. For example, it costs $100 to extend a visitor visa. But if the visitor visa has expired, the fee to restore it is $200. Check here to make sure that you're paying the right fee.

If your status expired more than 90 days ago

IRCC has relaxed the rules about when you can apply to restore your status.

You have until August 31, 2021 to apply to restore your status if it has been expired for more than 90 days and:

  • you had valid status on or after January 30, 2020 and your status expired on or before May 31, 2021, and
  • you're still in Canada.

This exception doesn't apply to you if your status expires after May 31, 2021. So you must apply to restore your status within 90 days of the expiration date.

 Special considerations for Post-Graduation Work Permits

The Post-Graduate Work Permit Program allows students who have graduated from some Canadian schools to apply for a work permit. You can only qualify for the program if your school is a designated learning institution. If you qualify but your study permit is expired, you can apply to restore the study permit and receive the post-graduation work permit at the same time. You can apply even if your study permit has been expired for more than 90 days. If you qualify, you must apply before August 31, 2021.

If your temporary status is restored, you will get the appropriate permit. The permit outlines the conditions of your stay in Canada and it is valid until a specific date. If you want to stay in Canada beyond this date, you will need to apply to extend your status again.

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