Immigration options for victims of family violence

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If your abuser monitors your computer, delete your browsing history.

If someone is threatening or abusing you, get help right away. Please call 9-1-1 or your local police in an emergency.

We can help protect you by giving you a special permit to stay in Canada. It’s called a temporary resident permit (TRP). It will give you legal immigration status in Canada. You can also get this permit for your children if they are in Canada.

In Canada, you do not have to testify against your abuser to get temporary resident status.

There is no fee for an initial TRP in cases of family violence. Depending on your situation, it's possible to apply for another TRP at the end of the initial period.

If you get a TRP, you can also get coverage for trauma counselling and health-care benefits. You may also apply for a fee-exempt work permit.

To apply for a family violence TRP:

If you’re a victim of family violence,

How to contact the Client Support Centre
Contact Details

Client Support Centre agent (in Canada only)

  • Available in English and French
  • Get help with general and case specific enquiries

Agents can’t

  • make decisions on applications
  • help process applications faster, unless you’re eligible for urgent processing

1-888-242-2100

  • Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (your local time)
  • Not available on statutory holiday
  • Note: Choose the option for victims of abuse and forced marriage to speak directly to an agent.

Teletypewriter (TTY) service

Call us via the Bell Relay service if you are hearing impaired or if you have a speech impediment.

  • Voice to TTY: 1-800-855-0511
  • TTY to Voice: 711
  • TTY to TTY: 1-800-855-1155
    • You need a TTY device (machine, cell phone or laptop on TTY mode) to use this service.

Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (your local time)

Not available on statutory holidays

Online

Use our web form

  • 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

Immigration officers at one of our offices will contact you to give you information about a TRP based on the evidence that you provided.

If needed, they will put you in contact with support groups that help victims of family violence.

Benefits of a TRP

You may need a TRP for any of these reasons:

If you want to stay in Canada permanently

We’re speeding up the processing time for individuals in urgent situations of family violence who apply for permanent residence based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. This will reduce delays between the time we receive an application and when we make an eligibility decision. This means that we’ll process applications for these individuals faster, with the goal of removing them from abusive situations as quickly as possible.

You’re only eligible for an expedited eligibility decision if

Below are situations of family violence that meet the eligibility criteria. If one of these situations applies to you, you may be able to apply for permanent residence based on humanitarian and compassionate grounds:

  1. You’re in Canada and seeking permanent residence that is dependent on staying in a genuine relationship with an abusive spouse or common-law partner. You’re dependent on staying in that abusive relationship to keep your status in Canada.
  2. You’re a foreign national who can’t be assessed for permanent residence because your abusive sponsor has withdrawn their family class application.
  3. You have been falsely told by an abusive spouse or common-law partner that they have submitted a family class application and it is in process, but in fact, they have not submitted an application.
  4. You’re a temporary resident who wants to apply for permanent residence through a genuine relationship, but
    1. that relationship becomes abusive, and
    2. you may not yet have an application in process

Make sure you clearly describe your situation of family violence in your application.

How to apply

To apply for processing under family violence:

  1. Choose the “FV – In Canada – Humanitarian and compassionate considerations” category when you apply online through the Permanent Residence Portal.
  2. Write the letters “FV” on your application cover letter.
  3. Email us at VancouverBro@cic.gc.ca. Make sure to
    • write the letters “FV” in the subject line
    • request “FV” processing and include your client account email address in the body of the email

If you’re in a situation of family violence and already have an application in process, you can tell us about it. We’ll consider it in processing your application. Contact the office that has your application, or contact our Client Support Centre at 1-888-242-2100.

Resources

Other Government of Canada links
Provincial and territorial resources

Alberta

British Columbia

Manitoba

New Brunswick

Newfoundland and Labrador

Northwest Territories

Nova Scotia

Nunavut

Ontario

If you are in Ontario and experiencing domestic violence, you can have a free consultation with a private lawyer by calling 1-800-668-8258.

Prince Edward Island

Quebec

Saskatchewan

Yukon

Other resources

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