In Canada, maintained status refers to a state where a temporary resident is allowed to extend their stay in the country. By just applying for this option, you can get permission to stay in the country until the results of your current permit application are released.
Maintained status can allow you to continue living in Canada within the conditions stipulated in their original permits. So if you originally had a work permit, you can be allowed to continue working in the country. But if you had a student one, you can only continue studying in Canada.
For this to work though, you have to apply for maintained status before your existing permit expires. According to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and other stakeholders, this should be at least 30 days before your current permit expires.
The term “maintained status” was coined by the IRCC in 2021 to replace the term “implied status”. This is because the latter statement confused both applicants and immigration officers alike, particularly because it’s derived from previous legislation. As such, when the IRCC changed the name to maintained status, they made sure to indicate the change on all their public pages and instructions.
If you have a work permit, there’s one thing you have to keep in mind when applying for maintained status – sometimes it doesn’t allow you to work. Ultimately, it depends on your situation. For instance, if you applied to extend your work permit or get another one, you will be allowed to continue working until a decision on your application is out.
There’s one condition to this though – you have to be working under the same conditions as stipulated in your original work permit. However, if you apply for a new work permit through the International Experience Canada stream, you won’t be allowed to work under your original permit while you wait for immigration services to make a decision.
On the other hand, if you’re on a work permit and applying for a visitor visa or study permit, things are quite different. For one, you won’t be allowed to continue working in Canada once your work permit expires. In fact, you won’t be allowed to study in the country either – instead, you’ll just be allowed to stay in the country as you await the IRCC’s decision.
If you have a study permit and have applied to extend it, you’re usually allowed to continue studying as you wait for the decision to be made on your application. But if you submit a brand new study permit application, you have to stop studying when your original permit expires and only resume when the new one is issued.
This is quite similar to what happens if you’re on a student visa but apply for a worker one; you can’t begin working until the final decision is made. You can remain in Canada as you await that decision though.
If there is one thing that you should always keep in mind when on maintained status in Canada, it’s that leaving the country is synonymous with forfeiting your right to work in the country until a decision is made on your most recent application.
As such, many have missed birthdays, graduations, and other events being held abroad while they are on maintained status. If you choose to attend though, ensure that you have enough money to sustain yourself when you get back, at least until your new visa is approved. And since this process usually takes months, you’ll have to have saved a significant amount indeed.
If you applied for a new permit or an extension of an existing permit and your application was rejected, you are no longer eligible for maintained status. As such, immediately you receive your refusal, you should stop working in Canada unless your work permit hasn’t expired yet. If it is, you should continue until the expiry date.
Whatever the case, there’s one thing you should know though – to remain in Canada, you’ll have to apply for restoration in status within 90 days of your application being refused.