CCR welcomes the elimination of Conditional Permanent Residence

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Canadian Council for Refugees
Media release

For immediate release
25 April 2017

CCR welcomes the elimination of Conditional Permanent Residence

The Canadian Council for Refugees today welcomed news that the federal government has eliminated conditional permanent residence for sponsored spouses and partners.

“Conditional permanent residence has had a devastating impact on women in abusive relationships, and its elimination can be celebrated by all who oppose violence against women,” said Loly Rico, CCR President.

Since the measure was implemented in 2012, the CCR and many organizations that work for the rights of newcomers and women have opposed it on the grounds that it placed sponsored newcomers, especially women, at increased risk of abuse. The CCR outlined its concerns in its 2015 report Conditional Permanent Residence: Failure in Policy and Practice.

The elimination of the measure comes as a direct result of the efforts of the many who mobilized against it.

Under the conditional permanent residence rules, the permanent residence of some sponsored spouses was conditional on their remaining in the conjugal relationship and living with their sponsor, for a period of two years. If they did not fulfill these conditions, their permanent residence could be revoked, and they could be deported. An exception to the condition was possible in cases of abuse or neglect. However, due to isolation, lack of information, fear, or lack of an advocate for support, many victims of abuse were unable to access the exception, and remained in abusive relationships for fear of losing their permanent resident status.

The repeal of the measure will come as a relief to sponsored spouses in vulnerable situations, and to the advocates who support them. We await more information from the government on how repealing the measure will affect people who were being pursued for non-compliance at the time of the change in the rules.

The amendment to the regulation is to be published in the Canada Gazette, 3 May 2017.

For background information and the impacts of conditional permanent residence, see: ccrweb.ca/en/conditional-permanent-residence

Notice of the elimination can be found at the Privy Council Office.

Contact:

Colleen French, Communication and Networking Coordinator, (514) 277-7223, ext. 1, (514) 602-2098 (cell), media@ccrweb.ca