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

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

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Will I be forced to leave Canada if I leave my abusive partner?
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Reviewed: 
August 31, 2017
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 cannot have you deported. Only federal immigration authorities can force someone to leave Canada.

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

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're a Canadian citizen, you cannot be forced to leave Canada only because you leave your abusive partner. But, you may have to leave Canada if you left out required information or included information that wasn't true in your application for Canadian citizenship or permanent resident status.

Permanent resident  

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

But immigration authorities may review your case if your sponsor 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 your permanent resident status. If you're 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 abusive 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 don't 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.

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