Yes. In Canada, you can renew or extend your visa before it expires, however, the processes and requirements will vary based on the exact visa you are holding or seeking. Renowned as the world’s second-biggest country, Canada has a wide array of beautiful landscapes and mind-blowing sites for travelers to explore.

However, to avoid immigration-related issues, you should apply for renewal or extension before your visa expires. Applicants are often advised to start the renewal or extension process at least 30 days before the visa expiry date. If you are on a student visa that is about to expire, there’s an online tool in the country where you can apply for a reinstatement of your status as long as it’s within 90 days.

However, once your visa expires and exceeds 90 days, it becomes another kind of immigration problem as you won’t be able to get a reinstatement and will more or less have to apply for a new visa, which will warrant that you first leave the country.

For applicants with a work visa, an expiry date will be noted on the visa. If you wait till your work visa expires to seek renewal or extension, there is a good chance that you will be subject to an admissibility hearing that could lead to your removal from the country.

How to Renew Canadian Visa Before It Expires

This will most often depend on the circumstances and the type of visa. Every case is different and it is recommended that you speak to a lawyer if you are in that situation. However, there are two main ways you can apply to renew or extend your Canadian Visa: online and on paper.

  1. Online Application

When you apply online, the IRCC will get your application instantly, and this will ensure that your application is processed much faster. If you already applied on paper, you don’t have to resubmit your application online. To apply online, you need to use the account you already have with the IRCC website.

Just visit the IRCC’s website and find out the required documents and instructions to renew or extend your Canadian visa. Most often, you will be expected to scan these documents and create electronic copies of them. These documents will also have to be submitted using the online application tool.

You will also need a valid credit/debit card to pay your fees. Even if you apply online, you must read the instructions before you complete your application. The guide will explain how to complete each field on the form. Ensure you carefully complete them as instructed and submit them when you are done.

  1. Paper Application

You are allowed to submit a paper application only if you can’t apply online due to a disability or if there is a problem with the online application. And to do this, you will first have to download the application package available on IRCC’s website.

This application package will include document checklists, application forms, and application guidelines. You should take your time to go through the application guidelines, gather all the required documents, and pay the necessary fees.

Also, note that you will have to print the application forms that are on the application package and sign and date them where applicable. Don’t forget to accurately arrange and append all the required documents. Once you are done, just package and mail this application to the address stated on the application package.

Forms and Documents Needed to Renew or Extend Your Canadian Visa

While the processes and requirements will vary depending on the exact visa you are holding or seeking, know that there are certain basic documents and forms you have to fill out when seeking to renew or extend your Canadian visa.

The Forms

  • Application to Renew or Change Conditions, Extend my Stay or Remain in Canada(IMM 5708)
  • Use of a Representative (IMM 5476)
  • Authority to Release Personal Information to a Designated Individual (IMM 5475)
  • Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union (IMM 5409) (If applicable)

The Documents

  • Payment receipts
  • Photocopies of passport pages. These will have to include: your name and birth date, the passport number, the expiration date, the stamp of your most recent entry into Canada, and all other marked pages
  • If you did not enter with a passport: Photocopies of your other travel or identity documents. This may include an alien registration card, birth certificate, citizenship certificate, etc.
  • If applicable: Photocopy of your current immigration document.
  • If applicable: Marriage certificate.
  • Proof of sufficient financial means.


If you entered Canada as a visitor or temporary resident, and want to stay longer, it is imperative that you renew or extend your legal status. It is also very important you apply before your current status expires.

Note that the time it takes for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to process your renewal or extension application will depend on the number of applications they have. If your application is successful, you can expect to get an immigration document granting you status and offering a new expiry date.