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Separation and divorce

The impact of separation on immigration status

You’re not a Canadian citizen, and you’re worried that your recent separation will affect your right to stay in Canada? Here’s an overview of the possible consequences of separation on certain types of immigration status. This information applies both to married couples and de facto partners.


People awaiting permanent residence

If your sponsorship application has not yet been finalized, meaning you are not yet a permanent resident, a separation may have serious consequences for your immigration status.

If you and your ex are no longer in a relationship, your application may be refused. Speak with a lawyer or go to a legal clinic to find out how your breakup will affect your application for permanent residence or your right to stay in Canada.

Are you experiencing domestic violence?

You can apply for a special permit to stay in Canada (with your children, if you have any) despite your separation. Free resources are available to help you with the immigration process, regardless of your income.

En apprendre plus

Immigration options for victims of family violence (Government of Canada)

People who are permanent residents

If you have already been granted permanent residence status, your separation will have no impact on your immigration status. This is the case even if your spouse sponsored you. You can remain in Canada as a permanent resident.

Furthermore, if your ex sponsored you, they must provide for your essential needs (for example, housing, food, clothing) for three years from the date you became a permanent resident. This obligation continues even if you separate. If your ex refuses to provide this support, you could be eligible for social assistance (welfare).


The information presented on this page is not a legal opinion or legal advice. This page explains in a general way the law that applies in Quebec. To obtain a legal opinion or legal advice on your personal situation, consult a legal professional.

New on JuridiQC!

Joint Divorce Help Tool

Free and easy to use, JuridiQC’s help tool assists married couples who don’t have children together as they prepare their joint divorce application. From filling out documents to filing them at the courthouse, we provide step-by-step guidance.