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I'm not a Canadian citizen. Will I be forced to leave Canada if my partner and I separate or divorce?

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I'm not a Canadian citizen. Will I be forced to leave Canada if my partner and I separate or divorce?
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I'm not a Canadian citizen. Will I be forced to leave Canada if my partner and I separate or divorce?
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Reviewed: 
October 4, 2018
Answer

If you're not a Canadian citizen and you want to separate from or divorce your partner, you may be worried about your immigration status.

In some cases, your partner might threaten to have you deported from Canada if you separate from or divorce them. "Deported from Canada" means being forced to leave the country.

Your partner cannot have you deported. Only federal immigration authorities can force someone to leave Canada. They do this by making removal orders, like a deportation order.

The risk that you will be forced to leave Canada depends on your immigration status.

Canadian citizen

If you're a Canadian citizen, you can't be forced to leave Canada unless you left out required information or included information that wasn't true, in your application for Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status.

Permanent resident status

If you're a permanent resident, you cannot lose your status or be forced to leave Canada only because you separate from your partner. This is true even if your partner sponsored your application for permanent residence.

But immigration authorities may investigate if your partner tells them that:

  • your relationship wasn't genuine, or
  • you left out required information or included information that wasn't true, in your application for permanent residence

This could lead to the loss of permanent resident status. If you're in this situation, you should get legal advice about your options.

Conditional permanent resident status

Between October, 2012 and April, 2017 some people who were sponsored by their partner were given "conditional" permanent resident status. This meant they had to live with their sponsor for 2 years from the date they became permanent residents to keep that status. But if they separated because of abuse or neglect, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) could decide that this condition doesn't apply.

IRCC got rid of the condition in April, 2017. So even if you have conditional permanent resident status, the condition to live with your sponsor for 2 years no longer matters unless:

  • you were ordered to leave Canada because you separated, and
  • you did not appeal the removal order, or appealed it to the Immigration Appeal Division and lost your appeal.

If you're in this situation, you should get legal advice about your options.

Other types of status

The next steps have more information about other types of status.

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