All visitors to Canada must maintain their status as a temporary resident if they wish to remain in Canada. There are 3 main types of temporary residents: Visitors, Students and Workers. Each of these categories have their own requirements for renewing or changing status. For example, it is possible to change status from a visitor to a worker or student, if you meet the eligibility requirements. It is also possible to change your status from a student or worker to a visitor. What is most important is that you have a timeline and plan for when your status expires.
If your study permit is about to expire and you need to renew your status as a student, the first step is to acquire a new letter of acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution. This will prove that you are applying to remain a student in Canada. It is not possible to renew your status as a student if you are not enrolled in a Designated Learning Institution.
Depending on the type of work permit you possess, It is possible to renew or extend your status as a worker either by acquiring a new offer of employment, or meeting one of the criteria for obtaining an Open Work Permit. In most cases, your eligibility for a work permit will fall under either the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (conditional work permits), or the International Mobility Program (open work permits).
If your work permit or study permit is set to expire and you wish to remain in Canada legally, you will need to apply to change your status to a visitor. This can be done by making an application for a Visitor Record, which is a document verifying your status as a visitor. Similarly, if you are in Canada as a Visitor, and wish to continue to stay in Canada without having to exit and re-enter, you can apply to extend your stay.
With few exceptions, most people wishing to apply to study or work must do so before entering Canada. This means that even if you are in Canada at the time and meet the eligibility requirements for either a study permit or a work permit, you will still need to apply online as if you were outside of Canada. In some cases you can apply at the port of entry for a work permit or study permit.
Some people can apply for study permits or work permits in Canada and have them processed in Canada.
Contact Chris Brown, an expert immigration consultant for next steps.