The website for Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) recommends to file the application for extension of status or change of conditions at least 30 days prior to the expiry date of the current document. It is worthwhile mentioning that this is exactly what it is: A RECOMMENDATION.
By law, people have until the very last day to file their own applications, however that is not recommended either. In some cases, if people are applying on-line the system may be not working properly and therefore there will be a risk not to file the application on time. If applying by paper and regular mail, one must consider the delivery time of the package.
The processing times for the different applications are constantly changing and clients stress out when their current immigration documents expire and they have not received a reply from the Canadian government. However, as long as the applicant submitted the application PRIOR to the expiry date of their document, the person will be covered under IMPLIED STATUS, this means that the person is legally allowed to remain in Canada until a decision has been made on their applications.
Extending status as students:
If the person is a student extending their status as students then they can continue attending their educational institutions. This will change if the student is changing their status as a worker or visitor, then the person is legally entitled to remain in Canada but cannot start the new activity (i.e. working) until the status has been changed.
Extending status as a worker:
Extending the status a worker has been one of the most confusing situations where people try to take advantage of the implied status and continue working until a decision is made on their applications. This is NOT possible in most cases and the applicants must be careful not to misunderstand the conditions of their current status. If someone has a work permit, they can only continue working under implied status if the new work permit applied for was of the same kind and with the sane employer and same conditions. If someone if switching from one kind of work permit to another one, they cannot benefit from the implied status to keep working but only to remain in Canada while the application is being resolved.
By: Maria Campos Ozaine
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant