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Will I be forced to leave Canada if I leave my partner?

Question
Will I be forced to leave Canada if I leave my partner?

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Reviewed: 
May, 2016
Answer

Your partner might threaten to have you deported from Canada if you report their abuse or if you leave them. Deported from Canada means being forced to leave the country.

Your partner does not have the right to have you deported. Only federal immigration authorities can decide to deport someone.

The risk of you being forced to leave Canada depends on your immigration status here.

Immigration law in Canada is complicated. It is easy to make a serious mistake. It is important to get legal advice from a lawyer if you are worried about your immigration status. Step 1 tells you how to find a lawyer who can help with immigration issues.

Canadian citizen

If you are a Canadian citizen, you cannot be forced to leave Canada only because you leave your partner.

Permanent resident  

If you are a permanent resident, you cannot lose that status or be forced to leave Canada only because you leave an abusive relationship. This is true even if your abusive partner is your sponsor.

But immigration authorities may review your case if your sponsor tells them that:

  • your relationship was not genuine, or
  • you left out information, or you included information that was not true in your application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) (formerly Citizenship and Immigration Canada or CIC)

This could lead to the loss of your permanent resident status. If you are worried about this, you should get legal advice.

Other immigration status or no status 

You might have a temporary status that has nothing to do with your relationship with your partner, For example, you might have a valid work permit that allows you to stay in the country. So, if you leave your partner, this doesn't affect your work permit.

But you might be at risk of being forced to leave Canada if ,for example, you:

  • have a sponsorship application in process under the "Spouse or Common-law Partner in Canada" class, or
  • are a refugee claimant and your claim is attached to your abusive partner's refugee claim

You will also be at risk of being forced to leave Canada if you do not have any status to stay in Canada and your partner reports you to immigration authorities. For example, you might have no immigration status because your temporary status expired or because you never had status.

The steps you can take to stay in Canada after leaving your abusive partner depend on your immigration status.

Learn more about this topic
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario/Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario/Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario/Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario/Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
Government of Canada - Gouvernement du Canada

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