I have applied for Canadian PR and am at the 6 month point with no final answer yet. I currently live in Canada but am not working whilst awaiting the award. My current status is on a 6 month visitor visa which shortly runs out. I have applied for an extension but am awaiting that as well. If I leave the country and fly to the UK for a week can I reset my visitor status?


In most countries, a pending application for permanent (or even temporary) residence will allow you to stay beyond the expiration of the status you were in when you filed the application. By contrast, if you leave the country, that can be seen as abandoning your pending application, requiring you to start all over again from the beginning. Here's what Canada has to say about that:

Can I leave Canada while IRCC processes my application for permanent residence?

Yes. However, if you leave Canada while your application is being processed, you must meet all the admissibility rules before being allowed back into Canada.

If you leave Canada and want to return, you must have all the required documents to enter. This can include:

  • a valid passport or other travel documents,
  • a valid work permit or study permit, if you need one, and
  • a valid visitor visa or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), if you need one.

If you are unable to return to Canada, we could determine that you abandoned your application. In that case, we will not process it.

They also mention that you must maintain valid status independently of the pending application for PR. You have taken that into account and applied for an extension. That application allows you to remain after the expiration of your initial period of admission. This is from the pages about extending visitor status:

After you apply

If your processing time has passed, you may contact us by using this Web form. For the “type of application/enquiry,” select one of the temporary residence options (online or on paper).

If your status expires

If you apply to extend your stay in Canada before the date you’re supposed to leave, you can legally remain in Canada until a decision is made on your application. In this situation, you have implied status.

So you don't need to leave Canada before your original period of admission as a visitor expires. Taking those two things together, I would say that attempting to "reset" your visitor status by leaving the country is risky.

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If you applied inland, it may be a bad idea to leave the country before your PR is approved. I was applying in 2016, so things may have changed, but IIRC you are allowed to stay in the country as long as you're not doing anything that would give them reason to remove you. If you leave, however, there is no guarantee you will be let back in. If you're not in Canada, you're no longer an "inland applicant," and may need to start over. Canadavisa.com has lots of information about this and forums with many datapoints. They helped me stay sane during the process.

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