Typically, you have 90 days from the date your temporary status expired, to apply for restoration of your permit if “following an examination, it is established that the visitor, worker or student meets the initial requirements for their stay, [and] has not failed to comply with any other conditions imposed” – Rule 182(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.
Restoration is not to be confused with implied status; you will not be allowed to work or study until your application for restoration is approved. During this time, you are considered having no status in Canada.
And, in addition to the regular work, study or visitor fees, you will have to pay the government processing fees of $200 CAD.
Should the 90 days deadline have passed, you must leave Canada and reapply from overseas.
What if you applied to extend your status on time, before its expiry, but was issued a refusal letter? In the case of Shekhtman v. Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, the issue was that the applicant received his refusal letter months after it had been sent by immigration, eliminating a possible restoration application. In light of the circumstances, the Federal Court of Canada considered the date from which the 90 day restoration deadline starts as either the date the refusal letter was issued, or the date the refusal letter was received.
In other words, foreign workers and their employers must keep in mind not only the expiry date of the work permit, but also keep records of the refusal letter as well as the exact date the refusal was communicated/received by the applicant.
Bottom line: do not wait until your temporary status expires to apply for an extension. The stakes are high and nothing predicates a positive decision on a restoration application, notwithstanding the fact that you must justify in a restoration application why you forgot or neglected to apply for an extension on time.
FYI: It currently takes 114 days to process a work permit extension application = almost 4 months. Renew your work permit way ahead of time.