Canada Immigration

How to Deal with and Report Abusive Spouse who sponsored for Permanent Residence in Canada


As per the family class sponsorship of Canadian immigration law,  a permanent resident or citizen of Canada can sponsor a family member such as their spouse, conjugal partner, common Law partner to enter Canada as permanent residence.

The citizen or the permanent resident who sponsors his or her spouse will be responsible to provide for all the basic needs of the new immigrant. Such basic requirements include providing for food, clothing, medical care, and insurance.

Further, the federal government of Canada made some changes to the family class sponsorship and put into effect a Conditional Permanent Residence from 25th of October 2012.

What Does Conditional Permanent Residence Mean?

Conditional Permanent Residence rules apply to those who made an application on or after October 25 2012 for permanent residence with the help of sponsorship from their spouse in Canada.

You can make an application, if you have been in a relationship with your sponsor for less than 2 years and have not had kids.

Once your application for permanent residency is approved, you enjoy all the privileges of a permanent resident such as work and study in Canada, without any additional approvals, access to social security, and health care, etc.

However, to enjoy these privileges, you need to live with your sponsor for a minimum of 2 years, and any violation would result in loss of permanent residency and removal from Canada.

Effective October 2012, a spouse on Conditional Permanent Residence in Canada has to stay in marriage for at least 2 years or else it would result in loss of permanent residency and removal from Canada; However, there is an exception to this rule that provides for that you don’t have to stay in abusive relationship

What if My Sponsor gets Abusive?

Many argue, as evidence supports, that the new law supports instances of abuse by the sponsoring spouse. With the threat of losing their permanent residency status looming large, the sponsored partner remains silent.

However, one exception to the conditional permanent residence helps you come out of such abusive relationships, and still stay in the country. The onus though lies on the victim who has been subjected to abuse to prove that the sponsor or his relative has abused or encouraged abuse against him or her.

If you are a victim of abuse of any kind – physical abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, or financial abuse – you need to remember that Canada has a zero tolerance policy towards any kind of abuse. You can get help from various sources. Call emergency helpline at 911 or local police, in case your sponsor or sponsor’s family abuses you or your family. You can also seek help from:

  • A Counselling agency
  • Your Immigrant serving Organization
  • You can also approach public legal information association and seek legal aid.
  • Contact community health center
  • Contact someone you trust, talk to people, you will get help crisis lines, victim services, mental health services.

You can seek an exception to the 2-year condition by speaking to the Citizenship and Immigration Canada at 1-888-242-2100. You can get assistance in your native language, as abuses in no language or form is permitted. Do not suffer in such situations. You are entitled to seek help over the phone, in-person or online.


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