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How do I apply for visa extension in Canada?

Ieva Miltina Ieva Miltina 21 July 2021
27 view 6 min. read

Canada is definitely one of the countries that many would consider a great place for living in the long term. The quality of life, the opportunities, and the undeniable beauty of this land are just a few reasons one might name as their motivation for staying there. What if you travelled there with a shorter stay in mind and only then realized how much you love the country of ice hockey and maple syrup? Maybe you found a job, a heartthrob, or just realized that you hadn't had enough time to explore this majestic land. Either way - you want to stay longer, but your visit is limited by a date on visa or eTa. How would one go about extending the visa? Where would you even submit the application for extension of visa in Canada? This article will help you understand this and many more details around the extension of stay visitor visa Canada. Just to give you some perspective, in conclusion, you'll also get some ideas on what will we do if Canada visa extension is rejected. Let's start from the beginning.

What should I know about extending my stay in Canada?

close up canada visa on a passport

The most important keywords you have to remember are "visitor record". It is the document that signifies your extended stay. It does not matter which of the documents you initially used to enter Canada - a visitor visa, an eTA (electronic travel authorization), or other. Visa extension for Canada will generally be called a visitor record. It has an expiry date, and after it, you have to leave the country or make sure you have another legitimate extension to ensure a legal stay in Canada.

Additionally, if you have another type of visa, you will have to make an extension based on the purpose of your stay. For example, a working visa extension Canada might grant will rely on an extension of the job contract, but a student visa Canada extension will be possible if you intend to study longer (e.g., get another degree). Remember that these two visas allow staying 90 days after the job/studies are finished to extend the visa or change visa type in case it is necessary.

On the other hand, one can apply for a visitor record in one of these three cases:

• visiting visa extension Canada

• working visa extension Canada if you don't continue to be employed

• student visa Canada extension if you don't continue your studies.

Another thing you should know is that most visitor visas for Canada are considered viable for several entries in the country. They let you travel to Canada for six months at a time as many times as you want. If you get an extension and would like to travel out of Canada and back, you must meet the defined entry requirements to return. It means that getting a visitor record by default does not mean a multiple entry visa Canada extension. You will apply for the extension, and if you meet the requirements, you are allowed to re-enter the country. The smartest way is to consult with the officials before applying and see how this applies to your individual case.

How many times can I apply for a multiple entry visa Canada extension?

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Generally, it is said that there are no clear rules about the number of times you might want to extend your stay. Nonetheless, the officer will consider the history and the motivation of the applicant. Additionally, a valid reason for extending the stay will be necessary.

How to submit an application for extension of visa in Canada?

canadian visa blank apply form

There are two ways to get this done: on paper or online. To speed up the process and to make it easier on yourself logistically, the latter one is suggested. Submitting the application for extension of visa in Canada online will give you a chance to quickly add any necessary papers or to see the remaining processing time more easily. Let's not even mention the costs you will save by not sending all the documents through ordinary mail!

Applying online, you should follow simple guidelines. First, create your account or sign in. Then read the instruction guide to see how each of the fields should be filled and what information you will need to provide. Then prepare the required answers and make sure you have either a working camera or scanner for making the photocopies of papers. After everything is filled, you will pay the fee (valid credit or debit card needed) and submit the form. That's it! Now only the most annoying part is left - the waiting.

In case of disability or an online form failure, you can submit a paper form. You will need to prepare all the required documents, pay the fees, and have a printed receipt. Only then you should send all the formalities to the address shown on the indicated paper form.

What is the processing time for visa extension Canada?

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Unfortunately, it is not possible to tell a definite number of days that will be required to receive a confirmation for your visitor record. Especially now, due to Covid, these times might vary greatly. For example, as of today, the expected processing time is about 145 days. It means that you would have to file for an extension almost immediately after receiving your initial visitor visa. Be mindful of the lengthy process, and don't leave it for the last moment. If this is something you have decided just recently and your visa is about to expire, consult an embassy or another immigration officer to see what are viable options for extension in your case.

Nonetheless, the official suggestion is to apply no later than the expiry date of your previous document. It can be found on the stamp in your passport, on your study/work permit, or visitor record. If there is no date to be found, it should be considered as six months after the date of your entry to the country. Don't worry much if the processing time has left you a very slim margin until visa expiry. Officially it is said that you are allowed to reside in Canada until you receive the answer to an extension request that is being processed. It means - if you apply for an extension, you will not be considered illegal if your visa already expired, but the application to extend it is still in progress.

What is the fee for visa extension Canada?

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The visitor record will cost you 75 Canadian Dollars, which is about 60 USD. In any case - if the visa or the visitor record is expired, you will be required to pay a fee of 200 CAD (approximately 160USD). By default, it should be paid during your online application process with a valid debit or credit card.

What will we do if Canada visa extension is rejected?

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Technically there are not many options for you if the application is rejected. Formally there is no option to file an appeal for the refusal of an extension. The only way you might do it is in the case if you have gotten a substantial change in the provided information that might change the mind of the officials. If this is not the case, your only option is to apply for a new visa that complies with your current situation and the intended motivation for the stay. After receiving a refusal, by default, you are expected to leave Canada within 30 days, but it might be different in some cases. Please consult with immigration services to make sure that your plan and intentions will not break the law and deny you future entry into this country.

Let's wrap this up. Obviously, it takes a bit of effort and research to ensure that you can stay in Canada longer. Hey - the greatest things in life will require some effort, won't they? The same goes for extension of stay visitor visa Canada. A bit of bureaucracy and your permit to the land of vast forests and stable living is on the way. The good news is - compared to many other countries, the process seems quite easy, and the information is transparent. No need to dig too deep and to find the basic requirements or go through complicated procedures. Surely, not everyone will get the extension, but at least the process is not exclusively reserved for the ones that can afford to hire a knowledgeable assistant to get this done. Considering all of this, I hope this information was useful. I wish you all the luck in the world, and hold my fingers crossed for an easy-peasy extension of your experience with Canada!

* Please keep in mind that currently, the procedures might take longer or have different requirements due to Covid imposed changes in formalities. Be mindful of this and check with the immigration services for the latest information. This goes for the travel restrictions, too - as the situation changes day by day, you might encounter a less flexible ability to travel to foreign countries.

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Ieva Miltina
Ieva Miltina Activist and entrepreneur

Ieva Miltina is an activist and entrepreneur of many sorts. By profession project manager of marketing and culture events, in her heart she is a passionate traveler and a cook, soon to become a pastry chef. Deeply rooted in non-formal education she has been involved in youth work since her teenage years and up till nowadays holds a deep interest in innovative approaches to learning and personal development, which she transfers to people from all Europe during various international trainings. Always looking for new discoveries and adventures she happily shares her positive view on the world and the neverending stories with the people who cross her path. While studying hospitality and tourism management she wrote a thesis on home-chefs, which ignited her dream of owning her cozy and heartwarming home restaurant, which will hopefully materialize very soon. Meanwhile writing articles and doing food photography she is working towards another dream of hers - becoming a published author someday. 

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