Living abroad can be one of the most fulfilling experiences of your life. There are so many opportunities to grow and expand your horizon. So, what happens when you find yourself in a country you love so much, but your time is almost up? How do you extend your stay?
For many people, the idea might sound like a nightmare, but it shouldn't be. Countries limit the duration they allow people from other countries to stay with them, usually for the safety and welfare of their citizens. In this article, we shall be looking at what you can do to extend your stay with ease.
You may have heard of people who have overstayed their legally permitted duration but have somehow managed to stay in the country. Don't do this. This idea isn't only illegal, but highly risky.
By overstaying your permitted duration without making effort to renew your stay, you will be "out of status". Being out of the status is the same as saying you are not legally recognized at all. It makes you an illegal agent and may expose you to various penalties.
Now, these penalties may differ from one country to another. While some countries may just find you before making you exit their country, others may straightaway deport you. But even these are nothing compared to the risk of being prosecuted under the law or totally blacklisted from coming into the country.
A Visa Run is a crafty method used by visitors in countries where visas are not required to extend the stay illegally. The way it works, before the legal duration ends, visitors cross to a neighboring country. When they return, they come in fresh, with a new clock ticking. In other words, they reset the duration.
This might seem clever, but it actually isn't. The governments of many countries are working hard to make this harder. Also, when the immigration services discover that this is what you're doing, you may be restricted and denied reentry.
It is simply not a sustainable long term plan. It is always best to follow the legal route. Following the legal immigration protocol would give you peace of mind while you keep staying in a foreign country.
Legally, all you have to do is apply in time. There are people who wait for too long before applying for an extension/renewal on their stay. Don't let this be you. It's always easier to process this extension when you apply in time. That means you are still legally allowed in the country, and by the time the Visa is renewed, you should still be within the law.
So, what is the right time to apply? To be safe, 2 months in advance is great. This is because you cannot fully envisage what may come up sometimes. By applying in time, you should get any issue sorted out well in time.
In countries like Canada, you are advised to apply at least 30 days in advance. Let's say you're studying in Canada and you apply for an extension. Even if you couldn't get the application completely processed before the expiration, you'll be given an "implied status".
With an "implied status", you are allowed to continue with your study while the application is fully processed and determined. This applied to those who applied in advance. If you fail to apply in advance, you may be penalized and fined.
Sometimes, people run late because they are too busy. If you know you usually don't have time, find out if there is an online route that the government provided themselves to make the reapplication simple. If there is, your problem is half solved.
You may need the aid of biometric screening, which should be done at service centers. You should make inquiries concerning this. The thing about online options is that it helps you beat the long wait at the immigration office.
In conclusion, whether you do it online or just follow the traditional route at the immigration office, what really matters is that you follow the legal route and apply in time. It is better to stay legally with your peace of mind than hiding from the law because you don't want to be caught.