Effect of Divorce on Immigration Status
You generally DO NOT lose your status or be removed from Canada because your relationship has ended.
If you are a permanent resident (landed immigrant), you generally DO NOT lose your status or be removed from Canada because your relationship has ended.
However, if you lie to a court of law about the length or evolution of your relationship, this may affect your immigration status.
- Sponsored person awaiting permanent residence
If the person being sponsored becomes divorced from the sponsor, the application for permanent residence will be rejected.
In this situation, the person who was being sponsored will have to find some other way to regularize their immigration status or will have to leave Canada.
- Sponsored person who has already obtained permanent residence
Once a sponsored person has obtained permanent residence, a divorce will have no impact on their immigration status.
Even though the couple is now divorced, the ex-spouse who signed the sponsorship will remain financially responsible for the sponsored person’s essential needs (for example, food and shelter) for a period of three years, starting from the date the sponsored person obtained their permanent residence.
After this three-year period runs out, you will automatically be a permanent resident of Canada. Once you’re in this situation, you’ll be able to apply for jobs, government welfare, etc.
However, your status may become a subject of the investigation if your sponsor tells the government that:
- You had entered into a relationship for immigration purposes.
- You had a misrepresentation of your initial application. Meaning, you left out important information or included something that wasn’t right while applying for permanent residency.
The above could cause the loss of your permanent resident status. But, if your relationship was genuine at the time of your application, or when you secured a permanent residency, you can have a smooth divorce.
- Refugee claimant (asylum seeker)
A divorce will have no impact on the right of each ex-spouse to claim refugee status in Canada. However, there may be an impact on the reasons supporting the refugee claim. For example, if one spouse was based their claim on persecution suffered by their spouse. It is advisable for each ex-spouse to discuss with their legal representative, before taking any step.
If the spouses claimed refugee status together, their files will be separated.
- Protected Person (accepted refugee)
A divorce will have no impact on the immigration status of a protected person.