Many people ask the same question when it comes to end of their Working Holiday Visa and wish to remain in Canada longer. The Working Holiday Visa cannot be extended and most of the time the only way to remain in Canada is as a visitor.
People who hold a valid Working Holiday Visa and who will not be leaving Canada at the end of their work permit; will need to change the conditions of their stay as visitors unless they have a valid job offer that entitles them to obtain a new work permit.
It is a common scenario that the travellers have a flight ticket to return to their countries of origin a few days or weeks after the expiry date of their work permits. The visa holders often do not know what to do to remain in Canada legally for those few days or weeks prior to their departure or they just wish to stay longer to keep travelling around Canada.
The people who come from a visa exempt country tend to wonder whether travelling to the border will extend and/or change their status automatically, this is not the right procedure and flag-poling does not guarantee that the border officers will allow them to re-enter Canada and chances are their request will not be processed right there.
The safest way to remain in Canada legally is to apply to extend and change conditions as a visitor. The application can be made on-line or in paper and be mailed to Vegreville, Alberta.
If applying to remain in Canada as a visitor, the applicant will automatically have legal status if the application was submitted prior to the expiry date of their working holiday visa. The current processing times to change status as a visitor are approximately 4 months so it is possible that the person wishes to leave Canada prior to receiving the answer from their application. If this is the case, I advise to notify Citizenship and Immigration Canada and withdraw the application to become a visitor and this way there is a probability that the government recovery fees are refunded if the processing of the application has not officially started.
- A person has a working holiday visa that expires on November 15th and they have a returning flight ticket on December 3rd. What is the best option to remain in Canada legally?
- Submit an application on or before November 14th, pay the government processing fees and remain in Canada. On December 2nd advise Immigration Canada that you are leaving the country and provide an address to be mailed a cheque for the refund of the processing fees.