In Canada, like in many other countries, it is imperative to maintain a valid legal status while you are present within the country’s borders. Let’s delve into what exactly happens if your visitor visa expires, and the steps you should take to rectify the situation:
1. Loss of Legal Status
Once your visa expires, you lose your legal status in Canada. This means you are staying in the country without authorization, and this comes with repercussions.
2. Immediate Action is Essential
If you realize that your visa is about to expire or has already expired, you should act immediately. Delays can result in harsher penalties and a tougher road to regaining legal status.
3. Applying for Restoration of Status
If your visa has expired, you have the option to apply for the restoration of your status within 90 days of the visa expiry date. However, there are restrictions on who can legally restore status after expiry. During this time, you are expected not to leave the country. To apply for restoration:
- Complete the Appropriate Forms: Generally, you will need to complete the IMM 5708 form, available on the Government of Canada’s official website.
- Pay the Fees: As of the time of writing, the fee for restoration is 200 CAD in addition to the renewal fee for your visitor visa.
- Submit the Application: Submit your application online through the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada) portal.
4. No Guarantee of Approval
It’s important to note that the application for restoration is not a guarantee. The approval is at the discretion of the immigration officer handling your case. Hence, it’s advised to provide a strong case, complete with all necessary documents and a legitimate reason for your overstay.
5. Leaving Canada
If you opt not to apply for restoration or your application is denied, the logical step is to leave Canada immediately. Failure to do so can result in enforcement action, which can include detention removal and or arrest.
6. Future Implications
An overstay can have serious implications for any future visits to Canada. It might affect your eligibility for Canadian visas in the future, and in some cases, you might be barred from entering Canada for a set period.
7. Seek Legal Advice
In complex situations or in cases where you are unsure of how to proceed, seeking legal advice from a professional well-versed in Canadian immigration law can be a prudent step to ensure you take the right actions and adhere to legal requirements.
Maintaining a valid legal status while in Canada is paramount to ensuring a pleasant stay with no future hiccups in reentering the country. If your visitor visa expires, you find yourself in a tricky situation, but prompt action can help mitigate the consequences. Always plan ahead to renew your visa before it expires, and keep an eye on the expiry date to avoid complications. Stay safe and travel responsibly!
If you’re ever unsure about anything or need help understanding immigration regulations, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a qualified immigration professional for assistance.
You can book a consultation for case-specific queries.
Turningstone Immigration Consulting is a full-service Immigration consultancy. Our services are provided by a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC-IRB).
We deal in all types of immigration-related applications, like Permanent Residence (PR), Study Permits, Work Permits, PGWP, Visit Visa (Temporary Resident Visas), Super Visa, Family Sponsorships for PR Applications, Refusals, and much more. Contact Us Today.