Are you marrying a Canadian citizen? Deportation may be in the cards…

Many people mistakenly think that marrying a Canadian citizen automatically grants them Canadian citizenship or permanent residence in Canada, but this is not the case. In fact, not properly following suit after you marry a Canadian citizen can result in your deportation from Canada.  

Woman being deported from Canada after living in Canada 15 years

A Hamilton woman is facing deportation from Canada after making the mistake of not applying for permanent residence after marrying a Canadian citizen in 1997. Her non-immigration status was found out when she was applying for jobs and applied for a work permit. When the permit was denied, steps to have her deported from Canada began.

The woman, Lucene Charles, applied to stay in Canada as a refugee and then under humanitarian and compassionate grounds – she has three Canadian sons living here – but was denied. Coincidentally, she was approved for a work permit later as Canada has a program that allows people to work and support themselves while their refugee status is sorted out. She is currently working and supporting her family on her own. Charles’ marriage to the Canadian eventually fell apart and she has a daughter from another relationship – who is not Canadian and also falls under the deportation order. Her sons, between the ages of 11 and 14, would either stay behind of face a life of poverty in her native St. Vincent with her and her daughter, where Charles says women are considered “nothing”.

The case has sparked public outrage across Canada.

You can catch a rare glimpse into the perspective of someone facing deportation from Canada by watching this video, which is in Charles’ own words. According to the video, her biggest regret is not sorting out her permanent residency – because her abusive marriage would not allow it.

If you marry a Canadian citizen, realize that you must apply for permanent residency in Canada in order to gain legal status. This can be done by having your spouse sponsor you as a part of the Family Class Immigration Stream.

Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.

Tags: deportation from canada Family Class Immigration Spousal Sponsorship

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the American Bar Association. He is frequently called upon to appear in the media to discuss Canadian and US immigration issues effecting North Americans. He has been interviewed by Canada AM, CTV, Canada News Net, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star and has given lectures on immigration topics overseas.

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