Submitting two extension applications for remaining in Canada

extension applications in Canadian immigration

Hussa, a Kuwaiti citizen, is an international student in Canada. She submitted a study permit extension application two weeks before the expiry of her study permit. However, she has received a valid job offer and wants to change her status from a student to a worker. Hussa’s previous study permit expired a month ago, and she has not received a decision on her study permit extension application. Consequently, she wonders if submitting two concurrent extension applications is a possibility.

Different types of extension applications

You may extend your status to remain in Canada when you are in Canada with a valid temporary resident status. Moreover, you could apply for a status change depending on your circumstances. Typical applications include the following:

  • Visitor record: extending your status as a visitor or changing your status from a worker or a student to a visitor
  • Study permit: extending your status as an international student or changing your status from a visitor or a worker to an international student
  • Work permit: extending your status as a temporary foreign worker or changing your status from a visitor or a student to a temporary foreign worker

Sometimes you are in Canada under a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP holder). Unless you resolve your inadmissibility, you may not change this status to any of the options above. However, you could apply for a new TRP while still in Canada. Also, consider the following situations:

Maintained status following a single extension application

If you submit a change of status or an extension application in a timely fashion, you won’t lose your original status until an officer decides on your application. We call this situation a maintained status. If the decision is favourable, then you’ll receive a renewed status. However, if they refuse your application after the expiry of the previous status, you lose your status and must leave Canada. Sometimes, you may apply for a restoration of status, though. Please consider the following circumstances:

  • If the original status was Visitor, you remain a visitor until you leave Canada or the officer decides on your new status [practitioners see R183(5)].
  • Assuming you were a student, you may continue studying in Canada until you receive the decision [practitioners see R189].
  • If you were a foreign worker, you may work in Canada until the officer issues the decision [practitioners see R186(u)].

The previous list does not discuss exceptions. Also, the decision could result in losing your status, extending it or acquiring a new status.

Opening a second extension application right after the first one

Generally speaking, you may open a second application while IRCC is processing the first application. In these circumstances, according to IRCC two scenarios could happen:

  1. You submit both applications before the expiry of the original status.
    • If IRCC refuses one of the applications, you still have a maintained status. Moreover, if the original status allowed you to work or study, you may continue working or studying until you receive the decision for the remaining application.
  2. You submit one application before the expiry of the original status. However, you submit the second application after the expiry of the original status while the first application is still open.
    • If IRCC refuses the first application, you still have a maintained status. However, if the original status allowed you to work or study, you cannot continue working or studying, and you may only remain in Canada as a visitor.

The following applies to both scenarios:

  • Suppose IRCC approves one of the applications, your status changes to the status of that application. However, the decision on the remaining application could change this situation. Therefore, if you are happy with the decision on this application, withdraw the second one as soon as possible.
  • Sometimes the officer returns the first application for incompleteness. If this happens after the expiry of the original status, you will lose your status in Canada on the day of refusal of this application.

Keep these in mind before submitting multiple applications.

As tempting as it may sound, submitting multiple extension applications could complicate matters. Furthermore, consider the following:

  • Misrepresentation has significant consequences. Therefore, please avoid it and ensure your applications do not contradict each other.
  • This article is for educational purposes. Please do not consider it official advice, as many exceptions exist when extending or changing your status in Canada.
  • Officers process both of your applications independently. In other words, they won’t cancel the second application when processing the first one. Consequently, if you are happy with the outcome of the first application, withdraw the second one as quickly as possible.

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    Al ParsaiAl Parsai, LLM, MA, RCIC-IRB
    Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
    Adjunct Professor – Queen’s University – Faculty of Law
    Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
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    Al Parsai

    Al Parsai is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (class L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) in Toronto, Canada. He is an adjunct professor at Queen's University Law School and Ashton College. Al, who holds a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University, is a member of CICC and CAPIC organizations. Al, the CEO of Parsai Immigration Services, has represented thousands of applicants from more than 50 countries to the immigration authorities since January 2011.

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