Can You Leave Canada While Your Visa Renewal Is Pending?

If you’re a foreigner studying or working in Canada, you might face this scenario: Your visa is almost expired, but you wish to remain in Canada. What should you do? You can apply to extend or change your visa. However, this process might take time. While waiting for your new visa, can you leave Canada while your visa renewal is pending? If yes, what precautions should you take or what preparations are needed? This article aims to offer some practical tips and advice on this topic.

First and foremost, if your visa has expired, or you don’t have a legal status to stay in Canada, you should leave Canada immediately. If you leave Canada after your legal status has expired, it could lead to being denied entry upon return or even deportation. Thus, ensure your current visa is valid before applying for a new one.

If you’ve already submitted your new visa application and received a confirmation receipt from the immigration authorities, you hold an implied status. This allows you to stay in Canada legally while waiting for your visa. However, if you intend to depart, be aware of the following considerations:

1. Can You Leave?

Theoretically, you can exit Canada while waiting for your visa renewal. However, your new visa could either be approved or denied during your absence.

2. Re-entry Concerns:

You may leave once your visa expires, but once you do, you lose your implied status. To re-enter Canada, you’d need a valid visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). If your renewal application is declined, you might face challenges re-entering.

  • If applying for a student or work visa, you can’t study or work outside Canada while waiting for the new visa.
  • If you’re applying for a visitor’s visa, you shouldn’t stay outside of Canada for more than six months.
3. Importance of Documentation:

When exiting, it’s crucial to carry all relevant documents, including application receipts and copies. If you wish to return to Canada, you’d need to present the following at customs:

  • Valid passport
  • Previous visa
  • New visa application and confirmation letter
  • A letter explaining reasons for departure and return
  • Supporting documents such as letters from school or workplace, financial proofs, travel plans, etc.
4. Notification of Visa Update:

If you receive your new visa’s approval notice abroad, ensure someone can collect your mail or you have another way to get notified. Failure to respond in time can lead to complications.

5. Stay Updated:

Regularly check your application status, ensuring you’re informed of any updates or required additional information.

6. Emergencies:

In case of emergencies necessitating leaving Canada, it’s advised to consult an immigration lawyer or advisor to understand potential risks and solutions.

Lastly, remember that even with all the mentioned documents, customs officers still reserve the right to grant or deny entry based on your individual circumstances and intent. Therefore, assess the risks and consequences before leaving. Ideally, wait for your new visa approval to avoid potential complications.

We hope this article assists you. For further inquiries or more details about Canadian visas, visit the official immigration website or consult an immigration specialist. Good luck!”