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Maintained status in Canada, previously known as implied status, is when a worker, visitor, or student applies to extend or change their temporary status in Canada before that status expires.

In some such cases, the applicant can legally remain in Canada under the conditions of their previous status until a decision is made on the new application.

In such a scenario, the person has maintained status (again, previously known as implied status). This maintained status in Canada remains until the government decides on your new application to work or study in Canada.

Maintained status can let you continue working in Canada if you have already been working in Canada on a work permit. Or, it can let you continue studying in Canada if you have been in Canada on a study permit. Or, you may be able to remain as a visitor if you held visitor status at the time you applied for an extension or change of temporary status in Canada.

Related: What to do if you’re out-of-status in Canada.

How do I get maintained status in Canada?

To get maintained status, you must already be in Canada as a visitor, student, or worker. Then, you must apply for an extension of your current permit or a new permit before your current status expires. In such a scenario, you are automatically granted maintained status — you do not need to apply for it separately.

But — be careful — after your current status expires, you may have important changes to what you’re allowed to do in Canada (i.e. work and/or study).

Maintained status for work permit holders

Can I keep working after my initial work permit expires?

Sometimes maintained status allows you to continue working, but sometimes it does not. The answer varies depending on your situation:

If you applied for another work permit (or to extend your current work permit)

You are allowed to continue working until a decision is reached on your application, but you must be working under the same conditions as your original work permit. You must remain in Canada to maintain your authorization to work.

Notably, if you applied for a new work permit through International Experience Canada (IEC), which includes the popular Working Holiday program, you cannot continue to work after your original permit expires and while you await a decision on your IEC application.

What if I have a work permit, but I apply for a study permit or visitor record?

If you applied for a study permit or visitor record

You cannot continue working after your original work permit expires. As an example, if you have a work permit and apply for a study permit: once your work permit expires you cannot work nor can you study until you receive a decision on your study permit application. You can, however, remain in Canada while awaiting a decision.

Maintained status for study permit holders

Can I keep studying after my initial study permit expires?

If you have applied to extend your original study permit you are allowed to continue studying while awaiting a decision on your application. However, if you apply for a new study permit, then you must stop studying once your original study permit expires until you receive a decision on your new study permit.

What if I have a study permit, but I apply for a work permit or visitor record?

If you applied for a new type of status (i.e. work permit or visitor record) you cannot continue studying once your original study permit expires. If you applied for a work permit, you cannot begin working until you receive a decision on that application. But, you can remain in Canada while you await a decision.

To benefit from maintained status, you must apply for your new status while your existing status remains valid. Many stakeholders, including IRCC, suggest you should apply at least 30 days before your current status expires.

Can I leave Canada while on maintained status?

People with maintained status in Canada should note that if they leave Canada, they can expect to forfeit their right to continue working in Canada until a decision is reached on their application.

In other words, if you have been working in Canada on maintained status and leave Canada, you won’t be able to continue working when you return — at least, not until the government approves your new application.

Applicants need to weigh up the pros and cons of leaving Canada while on maintained status. Some people choose to miss family events abroad, for example, in order to continue having an unbroken right to work in Canada. If you are tempted to forego this right because you need to travel abroad, for whatever reason, you should ensure that you have access to adequate funds or savings until your application may be approved, which can take a few months in some cases.

What happens to my maintained status if my new application is refused?

If your application for an extension or new permit is refused, then you no longer benefit from maintained status. As an example, if you apply for an extension of your work permit, but this extension is refused — you must stop working immediately after receiving your refusal (unless your original work permit is still valid — in which case you can continue working until the expiry date).

If your application is refused, you have 90 days to apply for a in order to remain in Canada.

Is maintained status the same as implied status?

In 2021, IRCC made the decision to change the name of this type of status from ‘implied status’ to ‘maintained status.’ There is no fundamental change except for the name. According to an to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) staff, “implied status” caused much confusion among officers and applicants because it was a carry-over term from previous legislation, mainly because “implied” is not a typical term used for legal status.

Therefore, IRCC replaced “implied” with “maintained” in its public pages and instructions, which have been updated to clarify that applicants who have applied to extend their status benefit from an extension of their period of authorized stay by law.

Want more information? Download 鶹ӳý’s Getting Started Guide, a free guide that can help you settle and plan your immigration to Canada with confidence.

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Rebecca Major

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Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
Rebecca Major is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (R511564) with nearly 15 years of licenced Canadian Immigration experience, gained after graduating with a Bachelor of Laws in the UK. She specializes in Canadian immigration at 鶹ӳý.
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