There have been a lot of changes in Canada’s immigration laws and policies, and these have resulted in the loss of status among many individuals who hold a tourist visa or temporary resident visa.
Because of these, various stories are circulating about instances such as the possibility among these individuals to be picked up out of nowhere by authorities and shipped back to their home country.
However, before panic totally sets in, it’s important for individuals in this kind of situation to know that there are options that will allow them to prolong their stay in Canada. Here are some important reminders and pointers:
Application for Extension of Temporary Resident Permit
Students, workers and visitors with expired permit will not automatically be removed from Canada. As long as the individual has already submitted an application for an extension of his temporary resident permit and the result of the application is pending, then it is assumed that he has an ‘implied status’.
That status will end once there is already a result on the individual’s application for extension. If the application is declined, then the individual should leave Canada as soon as possible to prevent any untoward scenario, which may affect his future prospects of returning to Canada.
Application for Restoration of Temporary Resident Status
This is another option for individuals who have lost their status and are unable to request for an extension because of legal basis. That individual can instead apply for status restoration within 90 days of losing his status. The following are some factors that will allow someone to qualify for status restoration:
• Valid reason for not being able to request an extension before expiry of previous status
• Compelling reason for the need to extend visit
• Positive labour market opinion based on the individual’s current job offer or studies
Application for Extension Under Humanitarian and Compassionate Reasons
If an individual has lost his status in Canada and returning to his home country may pose danger to his life, he can apply to Canada for protection. Aside from risk to one’s life, another factor that might help an individual remain in Canada even after losing his status is his marriage to a Canadian citizen – this is almost always a guarantee that the individual will be given a permanent resident status.
However, it is important to remember that both of the cases mentioned above are usually being looked at and checked more thoroughly at present because of previous cases whereby such reasons have been abused (i.e. individuals making up false stories about how their life is in danger in their home country, or people entering marriage for the sole reason of immigration to Canada).
Because of these, there is closer scrutiny being done, and even people with genuine stories often suffer from the consequences created by unscrupulous individuals who create false stories to deceive immigration authorities.
Other considerate factors such as an individual’s strong establishment in Canada, the interests of the affected children, and any undue and disproportionate hardship that would result from refusal can also be considered when an individual appeals to remain in Canada after losing his status.
All the mentioned processes take time, but the important thing to remember is that there are options for people who have lost their status – deportation to the home country is not the only sure route.
For those who are in this situation and who feel they may be qualified to apply for status extension or restoration, or they are in special cases that might merit consideration from the Canadian government, it is advised to consult an immigration lawyer or a reliable & knowledgeable immigration consultant to ask about the case.
(Read about “How to choose an immigration lawyer or consultant“)