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Do You Face Deportation if a Spouse Divorces You Prior to Being Granted Permanent Residence?

Spouse Divorces

Immigration law can be complex for you to apply it to your situation without any professional guidance. That’s why it’s almost always important to seek the help of an immigration lawyer whenever you feel like your immigration status is at risk.

Can your spouse seek a divorce?

The Canadian government will only approve a divorce if certain factors are met:

  • If your marriage is considered legal in Canada. The Canadian court will not allow divorce proceedings for a marriage that is not considered legal in Canada.
  • One of the spouse must be “ordinarily resident” in the province in which you seek a divorce for a period of at least one year.

The grounds for divorce

The fact that you and your spouse have lived separately for more than one year could entitle you to a divorce. However, many married couples have lived in separate countries or regions but the legal test is to show whether the union is still recognized as a marriage. There could be changes in your long-distance relationship that may prove you are eligible for a divorce. For instance, if you used to visit each other frequently but you no longer do and you don’t speak on phone anymore, you could be eligible to file for a divorce.

The types of divorce

There are different types of divorce that you may file:

Joint divorce:

In this case, the spouse will file for a divorce after consenting to the divorce with the other spouse.

Uncontested divorce:

This is where the spouse files for divorce but the other spouse doesn’t file for an answer within the required time limit. The spouse who filed for divorce can then seek to get a divorce order and the other spouse will not be able to contest it.

Contested divorce:

In this case, one spouse files for a divorce but the other doesn’t agree to the terms of the divorce application. This other spouse will file an answer and the case will be handled in the family court where proceedings will take place.

Issues that arise when filing for divorce

There are many issues that may arise after filing for divorce depending on your situation. For instance, you and your spouse may need to agree on how to divide family property, payment of child support, spousal support among other issues. The judge will ensure that there are concrete plans to ensure the children are adequately supported after the divorce. A family law lawyer can help in dealing with these issues.

Immigration consequences after a divorce

If you had applied for permanent residence based on your spousal status, and your application isn’t completed yet, there is an obligation on you to inform the immigration authorities of the change of your marital status. There’s a high likelihood that a divorce will result in your application being rejected. But going on with the family sponsorship application in order to gain permanent residency can result in immigration fraud since you are no longer stating the truth in the application. However, if your immigration status is not based on your relationship then a divorce should not have any effect on your status.

If your relationship breaks down after you have obtained permanent residence then this will not affect your permanent residency directly. However, if the immigration authorities suspect that you married simply in order to obtain permanent residence, they could initiate an investigation as to whether you engaged in misrepresentation or fraud. If the immigration authorities find that there was misrepresentation, you could lose your permanent residence status as a result.


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