Immigration options for victims of family violence

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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 get information about a TRP you can:

To apply for a family violence TRP:

If you are a victim of family violence

Immigration officers at one of our offices will contact you to give you information about a temporary resident permit 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

If you are in a situation of family violence, you may be able to apply for permanent residence based on Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds. If you do, make sure you clearly describe your situation of abuse in your application.

To apply for processing under family violence:

  1. Write the letters “FV” on your application cover letter.
  2. Email us at 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 are 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.


Other Government of Canada links
Provincial and territorial resources


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New Brunswick

Newfoundland and Labrador

Northwest Territories

Nova Scotia



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




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