Canada is considered to be the real land of the free, with its breathtaking sights and universal health care system. It’s no wonder that immigration is an essential topic for people looking to find citizenship in this remarkable country. One fear that new immigrants commonly have in leaving a relationship while in Canada––especially if their partner is their sponsor––is losing their Canadian citizenship.
In some cases, leaving a relationship has consequences with regards to immigration, while some cases do not. Depending on your citizenship application and your sponsor’s role in your immigration status, different statuses will lead to different outcomes.
Dealing with a spousal breakup
As an official Canadian citizen, you are not forced to leave Canada if either you or your partner chooses to leave your relationship. If you have a status of ‘Permanent resident with no conditions,’ you cannot be forced to lose your citizenship, even if your partner is your sponsor.
Immigration authorities, on the other hand, may bring you in for questioning if your sponsor claims that your relationship is not genuine, or if you omitted or incorrectly supplied information on your application to the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
A permanent resident with conditions
If you were given a permanent resident status under the condition that you must live with your partner who sponsored your immigration, you’re required to live with your sponsor for two years after you receive permanent residency. However, since 2017, sponsored Canadian women with conditional permanent resident status are now considered residents without the condition.
If you fit under this category, you won’t lose your citizenship, and you cannot be forced to leave Canada on the grounds of leaving an abusive relationship. This stipulation remains true even if you’re separated from your sponsor partner within the 2-year timeframe.
On the other hand, his immunity does not apply to you if you are ordered to leave Canada, failed to appeal the removal order, or lost the appeal through the Immigration Appeal Division. Once you go under one or all of these conditions, it’s recommended that you look for legal advice through an immigration agency regarding your possible options.
Sponsorship application in process
If your spouse sponsored you through the ‘Spouse or common-law partner in Canada’ class, you’re given an inland spousal sponsorship. With this type of sponsorship in play, your partner holds the right to withdraw your sponsorship at any time while your application for Canadian sponsorship is being processed.
If you’re under a sponsorship-application-in-process status, then you can be forced to leave the country unless you have other citizenship statuses, such as work, study, or visitor permit.
Remember that leaving your sponsor due to abuse is your priority, while your citizenship should be a secondary matter. A woman who experiences family violence can also get a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) from the CIC while they’re looking for a way to manage their emotional and financial stress. If you decide to get a TRP, you’re eligible to stay in Canada for at least six months until you decide to apply for another citizenship permit or to leave the country indefinitely.
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