APPLYING FOR PR WHEN YOU’RE OUT OF STATUS
You might think that you cannot apply for Canadian permanent residency if you have lost immigration status in Canada. However, this is not true. There are options available for a person whose temporary resident status in Canada has elapsed to finalize their application to become a permanent resident.
WHAT IS STATUS?
Having status means that a person is legally allowed to be in Canada. If that person is not a permanent resident of the country, then they have temporary resident status. Temporary resident status is given by a work or study permit, a visa, or a stamp in a passport. Permits and visas will state when they expire. If you have one of these documents, then you have temporary status in Canada until the date specified on it.
Staying beyond the date when status ends is an offense under Canadian immigration law. If a person has not applied to extend their stay in Canada before their status expires, they are expected to leave the country.
If your temporary resident status has expired and you want to remain in Canada, your first step of action should always be to apply for a restoration of status. You must apply for restoration within 90 days of your status expiry date.
If it has been more than 90 days since your temporary status expired, you have very limited options to remain in Canada.
One of the few options available to people who are out of status is spousal sponsorship. Someone who is living with their Canadian spouse or common-law partner can be sponsored for permanent residence.
Just like any application under spousal sponsorship, the partners in the relationship must be able to prove to immigration officials that their relationship is real. The relationship must meet the legal requirements that define a marriage or common law partnership.
PR APPLICATIONS UNDER EXPRESS ENTRY
Some candidates in the federal Express Entry pool are temporary foreign workers or students in Canada. It’s possible that their temporary status may expire while they wait in the pool to receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence.
If this happens, it’s likely that the candidate’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score will drop. However, the candidate’s profile will remain active in the pool, even if their status has expired.
As long as you apply to restore your status within 90 days, and comply with the conditions and restrictions on your status, such as not working or leaving the country if your application is refused, there should be no real impact on your Express Entry file.
Implied Status: If your temporary status has expired, but you already applied for an extension or new status, then you have implied status while that application is being processed!
NO STATUS IN ANOTHER COUNTRY
If you are out of status in another country, like the United States, you shouldn’t worry about it affecting your Canadian permanent residence application. However, it could negatively impact any application you make for temporary residence in Canada.
IRCC officers evaluate temporary residence applications to decide whether or not the applicant meets the criteria for the permit, and whether or not they are likely to comply with the conditions of their stay. This means: are you likely to leave the country if your status expires.
If you are already overstaying your status in another country, the visa officer could have reason to believe that you will overstay in Canada, and may refuse your application.
A permanent residence application, on the other hand, has to show that you intend to reside in Canada, not that you plan on leaving after a certain amount of time. So unless there is some criminality involved in your lack of status, it most likely will not be taken into consideration in your permanent residence application.