Newcomers to Canada experiencing family violence can now apply for a temporary resident permit that will give them legal immigration status in Canada. This measure also extends access to an initial fee-exempt work permit and Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) coverage for these individuals if the conditions warrant such a response. The objective of the new rules is “to provide protection for vulnerable foreign nationals who are victims of family violence or impacted by it, by regularizing their status in Canada, when appropriate.”
Eligibility for a family violence TRP
Family violence is generally defined as any form of abuse or neglect inflicted by a family member. In this context, TRPs are intended for cases of family violence from a spouse or common-law partner. In assessing eligibility for a TRP, the IRCC considers if the foreign national is:
- Physically located in Canada and experiencing abuse, including physical, sexual, psychological or financial abuse or neglect, from their spouse or common-law partner while in Canada
- Seeking permanent residence that is contingent on remaining in a genuine relationship in which there is abuse and if the relationship with the abusive spouse or common-law partner is critical for the continuation of the individual’s status in Canada
Examples of individuals who may be eligible include foreign nationals who:
- Are applicants of the family class or spouse or common-law partner in Canada class (SCLPC class) who have either already left their sponsor, due to abuse, or not yet left their sponsor, due to fear of losing their immigration status
- Cannot be assessed for permanent residence because their sponsor (abusive spouse or common law partner) has withdrawn their family class or SCLPC class sponsorship application
- Have been misled and made to believe by an abusive spouse or common-law partner that their family class or SCLPC class permanent residence application has been submitted and is in process when, in fact, no application has been submitted
- Are temporary residents intending to apply for permanent residence through a genuine relationship that has become abusive, but who may not yet have an application in process
Dependent foreign national children of victims of family violence (both must be in Canada) are also eligible for a family violence TRP. Officers should be attuned to cases in which family law or custody issues may come into play.
Ineligible individuals who are not considered to be seeking permanent resident status, per the corresponding MI, include but are not restricted to the following:
- Those seeking refugee protection
- Those who have been granted refugee protection and reside in Canada as protected persons without the intention of seeking permanent resident status
For more details & information please visit the IRCC page.