April 28, 2017/Toronto: The Government of Canada has repealed the conditional permanent residence regulation effective immediately.
Previously under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, spousal sponsorship applications for permanent residence received on or after October 25, 2012 required sponsored spouses to cohabit with their sponsor for two years from the day on which they receive their permanent resident status in Canada. If they did not remain in the relationship for two years, the sponsored spouse’s permanent resident status could be revoked.
The conditional requirement applied to spouses, common-law or conjugal partners in a relationship of two years or less with their sponsor and who had no children in common with their sponsor at the time they submitted their sponsorship application. However, if the sponsor died or if there were evidence of abuse or neglect during the two-year conditional period, then the condition ceased to apply.
“Since its introduction, the conditional permanent residence regulation was widely criticized by women’s organizations and immigrant rights activists, including our clinic, as the requirement increased the vulnerability of immigrant women who often stayed in abusive relationships out of fear that they will lose their status,” said Avvy Go, Clinic Director of the Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic (CSALC). “We are very pleased that the Government of Canada has repealed the conditional permanent residence requirement in its entirety,” added Go.
The elimination of the conditional permanent residence requirement means that sponsored spouses’ permanent residence status cannot be revoked once they have received it. However, it is important to note that spousal sponsorship applications could still be investigated for misrepresentation, and therefore, it is important for sponsored spouses to keep evidence of their cohabitation with their sponsor and why the relationship broke down.
CSALC is a not-for-profit community legal clinic which provides free legal services to low income, non-English speaking Chinese and Southeast Asian communities in Toronto and beyond.
For more information, please contact:
Avvy Yao-Yao Go
Clinic Director, Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic at (416) 971-9674
See IRCC release