I am an Afghan citizen with temporary resident status in Canada. Can I extend my status?NewUpdated November 10

Temporary residents are allowed to remain in Canada to visit, work, or study. As a , you can only stay in Canada for a certain amount of time and are supposed to leave Canada by a specific date.

How do I know when my status expires?

You can find the expiry date on your study permit, work permit, or visitor record. A study permit or work permit is a document that gives you the right to study or work in Canada. A visitor record is a document you receive if you already extended your visitor status after being in Canada for six months.

If you entered Canada as a visitor with a passport, check your passport for a stamp. It should look like either of these stamps shown below:

Image of passport stamp

(from IRCC website)

Your temporary resident status expires 6 months from the date on the stamp on your passport or as shown by the handwritten date under the stamp placed on your passport. For example, in the images above, the status for the stamp on the left expires on December 30 and the status for the stamp on the left expires June 30.

If there is no stamp, handwritten date, or document in your passport, your temporary resident status will expire six months from the day you arrived in Canada.

Extending your status

You can apply to extend your temporary resident status. Be sure to apply before your status expires. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is aware of the human rights situation in Afghanistan and is processing some applications more quickly.

You can apply for an extension online. If you can't apply online because of a disability or if there's a problem with the online application, you can submit a paper application.

You will need a debit or credit card to pay the application fee. You will also need a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents.

If your temporary status is extended, you will receive a new study permit, work permit, or visitor record. The new document 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.

An extension is not guaranteed. IRCC will decide whether to extend your status based on various factors, including:

  • Did you apply before your status expired?
  • Have you broken immigration rules in the past, like working or studying without a permit?
  • Are you still working or studying?
  • Can you support yourself as a visitor? Visitors aren't allowed to work in Canada
  • Can you afford to keep studying? Students must show they have money available for their studies and living expenses.
  • Are you from Afghanistan? Canada does not deport people to Afghanistan unless they have committed a crime.
  • Are there any other urgent reasons that you need to stay in Canada?

If you apply to extend your temporary resident status before it expires, you will maintain your status in Canada while your application is processed. This used to be called “implied status” but it is now called “maintained status“. This means you can continue to study or work or visit while you are waiting for the decision.

If your status has expired but it has been less than 90 days since the expiry date, you can still apply to IRCC for an extension. This is called an application to restore your status. You will have to pay additional fees to restore your status.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has the following guides to help you extend or change your status:

  • how to apply to extend your visitor status or change your status from worker or student to visitor
  • how to apply to extend your student permit
  • how to apply to extend or change the conditions of your work permit

Changing your temporary status in Canada

If you are in Canada on a student or work permit and are no longer studying or working but want to stay in Canada, you may be able to apply to change your status to visitor. It's important to get legal advice before you apply to change your status. Once you change your status to visitor, you might not be eligible to apply for a student or work permit again.

Some international students are eligible to apply for a post-graduate work permit once they complete their school program. Find more information about post-graduate work permits here.

Options for permanent status in Canada

If you have temporary status in Canada, you may be eligible to make a refugee claim based on the risk you face in Afghanistan. Get legal help before you make a claim.

The Muslim Legal Support Centre has an intake form that you can complete to be referred to legal services. You can also call 416 350 2914 to leave a message for someone to call you back.

If you have temporary status in Canada, you may be eligible to apply for status based on humanitarian and compassionate reasons because of the human rights situation in Afghanistan and your establishment here. You can also explain how returning to Afghanistan would affect any child you include in your application. It doesn't have to be your child.

If you have a in Canada who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, they might be able to sponsor you for permanent residence. Get legal help to decide what is best for your situation.

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