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A typical IFR cleared route is like,

KABC VOR1 V12 VOR2 V23 VOR3 V34 VOR4 KXYZ

Suppose the verbal ATC clearance is "N7890, you are cleared to KXYZ airport, KABC.ZYBUD departure, radar vector VOR1, V12 VOR2 V23 VOR3 V34 VOR4 then direct, climb and maintain 3000, expected 5000 5 min after departure, departure frequency is 123.45, squawk 4321"

While you are en-route on V12, ATC says "cleared direct to VOR3". Does this new clearance change the clearance limit from KXYZ to VOR3? If no further clearance is issued while approaching VOR3, should we hold at VOR3 or continued with the cleared route firstly obtained?

POST EDIT: The context is within US.

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I assume that this question is about the US, based on your examples.

No, it doesn't change the clearance limit. For some reason I could only find the documentation in the ATC orders, not the AIM. Section 4-2-5 of the orders says:

  1. Issue a clearance “direct” to a point on the previously issued route.

PHRASEOLOGY
CLEARED DIRECT (fix,waypoint).
Or
CLEARED DIRECT (destination) AIRPORT.

NOTE− Clearances authorizing “direct” to a point on a previously issued route do not require the phrase “rest of route unchanged.” However, it must be understood where the previously cleared route is resumed. When necessary, “rest of route unchanged” may be used to clarify routing.

If the clearance limit changes, the controller will usually give you a completely new clearance to copy.

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It doesn't change your clearance limit. If it were to change your clearance limit, he would have issued you a new clearance Instead of "cleared direct ..."

Usually it goes something like this:

"N123, I have an amended clearance for you. Advise ready to copy"

"Approach ready to copy"

"N123, you are cleared present position to ... " And then CRAFT.

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