3. Think about your options

Will I be forced to leave Canada if I leave my abusive partner?
This question has an answer and 5 steps
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3. Think about your options

Your options depend on your immigration status in Canada.

Sponsorship application in process

Your partner may have sponsored you under the "Spouse or Common-law Partner in Canada" class. This is also called an "inland spousal sponsorship".

If your partner withdraws this sponsorship while your application is being processed, you cannot get permanent resident status under this class. You can be forced to leave Canada if that is the only immigration status you have to stay in Canada. But, if you have another status, for example, a valid work, study or visitor permit, you won't have to leave.

Talk to a lawyer about your options. You may still be able to apply for permanent residence based on your language skills, education, employment history, and job prospects, or for "humanitarian and compassionate" (H&C) reasons. Step 4 explains what an H&C application is.

Other types of immigration status or no status

You have temporary status if you:

  • have a work permit
  • have a study permit
  • have a visitor visa

You may have no status if your temporary status has expired or if your refugee claim has been denied or declared abandoned.

Talk to a lawyer about your options. You need to act quickly. For example, you may have time to "restore" your status if it recently expired. Or, you might be able apply for permanent residence for "humanitarian and compassionate" (H&C) reasons. Step 4 explains what an H&C application is.

More information

For more information on how family violence affects immigration status, see:

You May Also Need

CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario)​ (This resource is written for women in abusive relationships but might help anyone in an abusive relationship)
CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario)​ (This resource is written for women in abusive relationships but might help anyone in an abusive relationship.)
Reviewed: August 31, 2017

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