Leaving Canada while on maintained status
It is important to note that maintained status applies only as long as the applicant remains in Canada. If a temporary resident in Canada on maintained status leaves the country, he or she may be permitted to re-enter as a temporary resident Canada if:
- He or she is exempt from the requirement for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV); or
- He or she has a TRV.
However, an individual with maintained status would not be able to resume his or her work or studies (as applicable) until a decision is made on the application for the extension of status.
Additionally, he or she may have to provide evidence to the officer at the Port of Entry of sufficient means of financial support while awaiting the decision. It is strongly recommended that anyone under maintained status who leaves Canada brings proof of application for an extension of his or her permit.
In effect, an individual with maintained status (either to work or study) gives up his or her right to work or study upon leaving Canada, until a decision is made on the application to work or study in Canada.
For example, if a student who has applied to extend his or her study permit leaves Canada, he or she may be able to re-enter the country. However, he or she would then not be able to resume his or her studies until a decision is made on the application. If he or she had remained in Canada on maintained status, he or she could have continued to study in Canada legally.
If a student applies for a study permit extension before the expiration of the previous permit, he or she can continue studying under the conditions of the previous permit. However, if he or she has applied for a study permit for a different institution, he or she must cease studying when the permit expires and await the decision on the application.
If an application is refused while the applicant is on maintained status, the applicant will be out of status in Canada. Depending on the situation, the individual may be able to apply for restoration of status.
People who leave Canada while on maintained status may be able to re-enter Canada as temporary residents if they have a multiple-entry visa, or if they are temporary resident visa (TRV)-exempt. If someone from a country that requires a TRV leaves Canada to visit the United States or St Pierre and Miquelon only, he or she is considered TRV-exempt and can return to Canada as a temporary resident.
However, individuals on maintained status in Canada cannot resume work or study after leaving and re-entering the country, until the new permit is issued for work or study. That is, if a student leaves Canada while on maintained status and returns to the country before a decision has been made on the application, he or she will not be able to resume studying.
Proof of the application for an extension of a permit is generally accepted as proof of maintained status. If the application was submitted while the individual's previous permit was valid, the individual remains on maintained status. It is strongly recommended that an individual who leaves Canada while on maintained status carries proof of the submission of the application, to assist with re-entry.
If a candidate submits an application for a new work permit for a different employer, he or she must stop working when the previous permit expires. He or she must not work while awaiting a decision on the application for the new work permit. Similarly, if a student submits an application for a new study permit for a different institution, he or she must stop studying when the study permit expires and await the new study permit before resuming the studies assigned on the new permit.
Applicants who have been in Canada on maintained status may have permits that show a gap in the dates between the expiry of the former permit and the issue of the more recent one. However, the renewed permit will generally state that the holder maintained their status until the new permit was issued, thus explaining the gap in dates.