Temporary residents: Eligibility for extending temporary resident status

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

A person may apply to extend their status as a temporary resident in Canada beyond the initial period granted for their stay by the officer at the port of entry. This includes accompanying family members, regardless of whether or not the principal applicant will be extending their status in Canada. It will be up to the officer to make the final decision after reviewing the circumstances.

All in-Canada visitor extension, study permit and work permit applications must be submitted electronically, with some exceptions. See the list of programs that are exempt from the in-Canada mandatory electronic application requirement.

Applicants must:

  • apply before their status expires and have complied with all the conditions that were imposed on entry (R181).
  • also meet the requirements of R179, regardless of whether they initially required a temporary resident visa (TRV) or not.

Note: When a temporary resident extension document is issued in Canada for a period resulting in a stay in excess of six months for an individual from a designated country, an Immigration Medical Examination (IME) is normally required.

Many of the questions to consider in determining whether an applicant meets the eligibility criteria noted in R179 and R181 are outlined in assessing the application.

Additional questions that may help an officer determine eligibility

  • Consider the intentions of the client
    • What is the client doing in Canada?
    • How long has the applicant been here?
    • How long is the request for?
  • Officers must consider the reason given by the client for applying for the extension.
    • Are the plans well thought out or merely frivolous?
    • Taking the applicant’s situation in their home country into consideration, is a prolonged stay in Canada reasonable?
  • Determine whether the client has the means to support themselves or whether someone else is willing to provide adequate support.
  • Assess the client’s ability to leave Canada. Officers should consider whether the applicant has the means to either return to their home country or to proceed onward to a third country.
  • What was the original purpose of the visit to Canada? Has it been fulfilled? If no, was sufficient time originally granted to fulfil the purpose?
  • What family, employment or other responsibilities and obligations has the person left behind and how have they been discharged? Is the proposed extension logical, reasonable and feasible in light of these circumstances?

Note: If the application has passed eligibility and results from partner agencies have raised admissibility concerns under section 34, 35 or 37 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), stage 2 decision makers are to transfer the application to the Domestic Network’s Centre of Expertise in Security Cases for assessment. This procedure only applies to applications submitted in Canada where the applicant or dependant of concern is in Canada.

Relevant topics to determine whether to extend the authorization to remain in Canada of temporary residents working or studying without permits

Note: If a person who is of normal working age wishes to extend their visitor status in Canada, the officer must be satisfied that the applicant is not working or studying without authorization before granting an extension.

Passport validity

With some exceptions, R52 requires that an applicant hold a passport or travel document that is valid for the entire period authorized for the person’s stay. Officers may not, therefore, extend status beyond the validity date of the travel document.


Step 1

The Case Processing Centre in Edmonton (CPC-E) receives the application and ensures that all the required documentation and the fee have been included.

Step 2

A service delivery agent at the CPC-E evaluates the application to determine if the applicant is eligible for a renewal and decides whether or not to grant it.

  • If the extension is approved, then a visitor record outlining the conditions for the extension is mailed to the applicant.
  • If the applicant’s status has expired or they are otherwise in violation of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) or the IRPR, then eligibility for restoration is assessed. If the applicant is not eligible for restoration, then the Minister’s delegate decides on a disposition for the case (e.g., inquiry, departure order, allowed to remain).
  • If the applicant requires a medical examination, then the medical examination form [IMM 1017] and the panel physician list and instructions are mailed to the applicant.
  • If an interview is required because of 1 of the following reasons, then the application is referred to the local Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) office nearest to the applicant’s place of residence:
    • the applicant ceased to be a visitor, student or temporary worker;
    • the applicant’s purpose is suspect; or
    • the officer needs more detailed information.

Note: When a file is referred to a local office, the processing times quoted to set the applicant’s expectations must be the local office’s, if available.

Step 3

An inland officer reviews the file and schedules the applicant for an interview.

At the interview, the officer either approves or refuses the application.

  • If the extension is approved, then a visitor record outlining the conditions is issued and given to the applicant.
  • If the extension is refused, then the applicant is advised of the decision and counselled to leave Canada.

Step 4

In cases where CPC-E has sufficient grounds to refuse an application, a letter is mailed to the applicant notifying them of the refusal and the reasons for it. The applicant is also advised of the next course of action (e.g., eligibility for restoration or to leave Canada).

Note: Applicants eligible for restoration have 90 days from the date of the notice to apply.

Step 5

The agent’s decision is documented in the Global Case Management System (GCMS).

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