Divorce and separation can cause significant changes in your life. For some, it could mean staying away from their kids or seeing them much less, while for others, divorce results in greater financial obligations. For anyone who has been awarded Canadian citizenship or permanent residency, a major concern would be whether the divorce can affect their immigration status. You may be concerned that filing for divorce may force you to leave the country. In this article, we’ll shed some light on whether divorce can affect your citizenship status and advise you on the next steps.
Should you worry about your citizenship when getting divorced?
Typically, your Canadian citizenship or permanent residency will not be affected by your divorce. The immigration authorities will not move you out of Canada simply because you want to end your marriage. However, there are some situations where a couple that is ending their marriage may be concerned about their status being revoked. The Canadian court will not grant a divorce if the marriage is not valid or considered legal in Canada.
Did you lie in your application?
If you were caught lying in your citizenship application such as overstating the length of time that you were in the relationship and the evolution of your union, your immigration status may be affected when you apply for divorce. Keep in mind that if the immigration authorities find any inconsistencies in the information you provided relating to your immigration, this could lead to further legal issues.
How will divorce affect your sponsorship?
Your sponsor will remain financially responsible for you if the 3-year period after arriving in Canada hasn’t lapsed even if the marriage comes to an end. If you don’t get any support from your sponsor, you can apply for social assistance. This amount paid by the government will later be collected from your sponsor.
If your application for permanent residency was still underway and your partner decided to end the relationship, you may no longer be eligible to be granted this status and will be forced to leave the country. This was put in place to deter fraudulent couples who would enter into ‘marriages of convenience’ in order to access permanent residence status in Canada.
What if your immigration wasn’t tied to your relationship?
If you have a work permit or temporary visa, this shouldn’t affect your divorce because the immigration status is not directly tied to your relationship. However, your immigration status may be questioned by the authorities if:
- Your partner claims that you entered into a relationship for immigration purposes.
- You either omitted important information or included false information in your application for permanent residency. This would result in misrepresentation which causes the immigration authorities to pursue further legal action.
However, if you had a genuine relationship with your partner at the time of your application, you could have a smooth divorce. Are you contemplating a divorce and worried that it may affect your immigration status? Speak to our divorce lawyers today and get proper legal advice to remain in Canada.