Implied Status – What It is, and What Changed Recently

7th Mar 2014 Comments Off on Implied Status – What It is, and What Changed Recently

Last updated on April 16th, 2020

Implied status is perhaps one of the most misunderstood concepts of Canada’s immigration system.  Many mistakenly question its legality.  Others fail to appreciate its unique requirements, and abruptly find themselves without status.   Recent procedural changes and court decisions in Canada have only added to the confusion.

Implied Status

Regulations 183(5), 186(u), and 189 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (“IRPR”) provide the legal basis for implied status.  In brief, if a foreign worker, international student, or visitor files an application to extend his (or her) status in Canada, then he may remain in Canada on the terms of his original status until Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC”) makes a decision on his extension application.

Accordingly, a foreign worker can continue to work, an international student can continue to study, and a visitor can continue to reside in Canada during IRCC’s processing of the extension application.  Considering that as of writing visitor, worker, and student extension applications took IRCC 75, 60, and 42 days respectively to process, the extra time that implied status can allow an individual to carry on with his life in Canada can be significant.

In order to take advantage of implied status, the IRPR requires that an applicant file the extension application before his current immigration document expires.  Even submitting an extension application one day too late will mean that a foreign national cannot benefit from implied status.  The consequences of this are often quite serious.

As well, an applicant will lose the benefits of implied status if he leaves Canada while IRCC processes his extension application.

Examples

The following exchange between an Immigration Representative and the Immigration Representative Portal is an example of how implied status works.

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