Ending a serious relationship such as marriage is already difficult enough. It may be more of a headache when living as an immigrant in a foreign country and you are a bit green about the laws regarding the same. If you are concerned about how divorce affects your immigration status, read on, as there are many different scenarios to consider. Your situation may be unique and this is why it is important to consult a legal professional before proceeding with anything.
In most cases, divorce will not cause you to lose your immigration status. However, it depends on your current immigration status. Looking at the various immigration scenarios, the following is what you can expect:
Permanent Residents and Citizens
Permanent residents are individuals who have visas that allow them to reside in a country indefinitely when they are not a citizen in that country. Permanent residents and citizens of the country cannot lose their immigration status due to divorce. The only exception is the two-year requirement to live with a sponsored spouse or partner, described below.
Conditional Permanent Residency
Conditional permanent residency status is given to individuals who are sponsored as spouses or partner. As a conditional permanent resident, you could lose your status if you do not live with your spouse or partner for at least two years after obtaining permanent residence. The only exceptions are for cases of abuse or neglect by the sponsor, or if you have a child with your spouse or partner.
If you are a sponsored resident in the country, your sponsor is financially responsible for you for at least three years after your arrival. This will remain the case whether you are together or if you break up before this duration ends. Divorce will not affect the obligation of the sponsor to provide for their sponsored relative for the full duration of the sponsorship undertaking.
You can receive refugee status if you flee to Canada from a situation of personalized risk in your home country. When you have refugee status, you do not lose it because of divorce or ending your relationship, even if your refugee claim was based on your spouse or partner’s situation of risk in the home country.
Since each scenario has quite a number of variants, it is always advisable to seek legal help in case you have any immigration problems or concerns about your immigration status.