What Happens if You Overstay Your Visa in Canada?

It is never a good idea to overstay a visa or entry permit. Overstaying in Canada violates both the visa conditions and the country’s immigration regulations.

It is crucial that you take action before your visa expires if you are a migrant who is currently in Canada, whether as a visitor, businessperson, worker, student, or for any other purpose.

You could need to apply for a different kind of visa, an extension or renewal of your current one, permanent residency, or even to leave the country, depending on your situation.

It may be impossible to depart before your visa expires in specific circumstances, such as those involving illness or injury, domestic violence victims, and, most recently, COVID-19 travel restrictions.

We will discuss the repercussions of overstaying your visa in Canada in this post, along with some potential remedies.

What happens to those who overstay in Canada?

It is very typical for immigrants in Canada to think that the best course of action if their visa has expired is to keep quiet in the hopes that the immigration officials will not notice.

This is completely incorrect for the simple reason that the Canadian immigration authorities maintain electronic records of who is present in the nation, their type of visa, and the duration of leave issued.

This implies that those who overstay their welcome will face obstacles at the border while departing Canada and/or attempting to enter again in the future.

Possible Implications of Visa Overstaying

Unfortunately, there are a lot of possible consequences that you can face if you overstay your visa. In addition to losing your present rights or immigration status, overstaying might also prevent you from ever obtaining permanent Canadian citizenship.

Overstaying a visa in Canada carries the primary danger of being considered “inadmissible,” which could lead to:

  • be considered inadmissible: You would be refused a visa or Electronic Travel Authorization in this situation, as well as denied entrance to or removal from Canada. A person may be deemed ineligible for a variety of reasons, such as a lack of resources and financial assistance or having committed war crimes.

Explicitly listed among these reasons is any violation of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. This applies to anyone who stays too long.

  • Be taken out. You can also be informed that you must leave Canada because you are unable to do so lawfully. Depending on which of the three forms of Removal Orders you obtain, you must depart the country as soon as possible and for how long.
  • be denied a visa in the future. The ramifications continue even after you leave Canada. Authorities may legitimately use a prior determination of inadmissibility or a prior removal to legally reject your new application to return should you wish to apply for another visa non the future.

Failure to adhere to the Canadian Immigration, Refugee and Protection Act is one of many potential grounds for inadmissibility (IRPA). According to the IRCC regulations, IRPA noncompliance includes:

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  • Temporary residents who violate the terms of their stay, such as by staying longer than permitted or engaging in employment or study without the necessary authorizations
  • People who have been previously expatriated and attempt to enter Canada without a documented authorization (in some circumstances, you may need an Authorization to Return to Canada (ARC) in order to be allowed to Canada)
  • Permanent residents who haven’t lived in Canada for the appropriate amount of time

What options do I have if I overstay my visa in Canada?

If you are an overstayer in Canada, you must do something about it. You may lessen the possibility of any negative actions being taken against you now and in the future by doing this (that’s if you would like to come back to Canada later on).

It is wise to consult an immigration attorney who can lay out your alternatives and suggest the best course of action given your past experiences and future goals. They may assist you in providing the essential paperwork and supporting documentation to prove your case while also working to assess whether you have a good basis for overstaying.

You might be eligible for a visa extension, given time to leave the country without incurring penalties, or allowed to apply for a new visa, depending on the specifics.

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As long as it has been less than 90 days from the expiration date, there are procedures in place to regularize your immigration status; in this situation, you can seek to reinstate the visa.

Although there is no assurance that this will be extended, according to the IRCC, it should be doable in the majority of circumstances with the right guidance and strategy.

You must submit an online application to prolong your visitation in order to regain your visitor status. Overstayers are advised by IRCC to make sure they:

  • Select restore my visitor status (under section 3 at the top of the form).
  • Give a complete account of your circumstances and the cause of your overstay in Canada (under section 2 of the background information).

Additionally, there is a $200 cost to have your visa restored. Unfortunately, each family member whose immigration status in Canada has been lost must pay this fee.

The instructions state that you can regain your visitor, student, or employee status within 90 days of losing it if you:

  • You stayed in Canada for a longer amount of time than was permitted by law (but not longer than 90 days).
  • You obtained a new work permit before changing jobs, locations, or the nature of your work (occupation or level of responsibility).
  • If there were any conditions on your study permit that you modified / changed without applying for a change, they were the types of studies, educational institutions, locations, times, and periods of studies.

You can obtain a new tourist visa, a new study or work permit, and reinstate your temporary resident status as long as you finish this process completely and correctly within the allotted 90 days.

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Avoid speculating about your visa status

There is a chance that you might be permitted to return to Canada, regardless of whether you previously overstayed your visa but fled before being detected by Canadian immigration authorities, or even if you were previously told to leave Canada. But it’s best to avoid getting into this predicament in the first place.

To prevent overstaying your visa, you should constantly keep a close eye on the dates that both your visa and passport expire. You should get in touch with a knowledgeable immigration legal expert right away if you have any doubts about whether you should be taking action to extend a temporary visa.

In conclusion

If your visa or authorization to enter Canada is about to expire or has already done so, you must take immediate action. The IRCC is kind in giving you a 90-day opportunity to get your immigration status back to normal; however, beyond that, regularizing your job may become much more difficult.

However, if your overstay has gone past 90 days, you should contact an immigration attorney right away. They can help you choose the best course of action and negotiate a settlement with the Canadian immigration authorities.

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