Last Updated on October 31, 2021 by Steven Meurrens

A foreign national in Canada with visitor status does not need to leave Canada at the end of six months (or whatever period was granted for their stay).  Instead, they may apply to extend their temporary resident status in Canada.

Extensions

All in-Canada visitor extension applications must be submitted electronically.  Applicants must apply before their status expires and have complied with the conditions that were imposed on them on entry.  They also must satisfy an Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada officer that they will leave Canada by the end of any extension granted.

There are many factors that officers will consider in determining whether to grant an extension.  These include:

  • what the person is doing in Canada;
  • how long the person has been in Canada;
  • how long the person wishes to remain in Canada;
  • whether hte person’s plans are well thought out or merely frivolous;
  • taking the person’s situation in their home country into consideration, whether a prolonged stay in Canada is reasonable;
  • whether the person has the means to support themselves or whether someone else is willing to provide adequate support;
  • whether hte person has the ability and means to leave Canada; and
  • whether the original purpose of their visit to Canada has been fulfilled, and if not, whether sufficient time was originally granted to fulfill the purpose;
  • what family, employment or other responsibilities and obligations the person left behind and how they have been discharged; and
  • if the person is of normal age, that they are not working without authorization.

Basically, a visa officer will look at whether the proposed extension is logical, reasonable and feasible in light of all the circumstances.

It is important to note that officers cannot extend someone’s status in Canada beyond the validity period of their passport.

Jurisprudence

In Quraishi v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration), 2021 FC 1145 , an individual had entered Canada to “care for his ill mother-in-law, make arrangements for her care, and provide support for family members.” The person sought to extend their status. An officer refused the application, stating that the applicant “has had sufficient time to fulfill [this] purpose.” The Federal Court determined that bald statement without any explanation as to why the officer thought this was unreasonable.