Express Entry: Marriage, Divorce, and Children in Express Entry, Permanent Residency and Canada Visas
What happens if I Divorce from my partner during the Express Entry Permanent Residency process?
If you are the primary applicant you need to prove you are now divorced, and your former spouse will be removed from the application and your application will proceed as per usual. To prove this you need to provide your divorce certificate.
What if my divorce is still in process and I don’t have my divorce certificate yet?
Some countries take a long time to process a divorce. If you don’t have your certificate yet, and your spouse is willing to confirm you are in process for divorce, you can present documents to show your divorce application is in process. The immigration officer has the discretion to process you as a single divorced applicant.
If your former spouse will not cooperate you are going to have to wait until your divorce is processed.
So, if you have your divorce certificate or your former spouse will cooperate to have themselves removed from the application then you will be able to process your application, if you don’t have the certificate of divorce yet and your ex-spouse will not cooperate then you will have to wait until you have your divorce certificate.
If you have separated it is important you inform Canadian Immigration. Failure to do so is called “misrepresentation” and can get you barred from applying for immigration forever. It is important to process your application honestly, so even if it means you have to wait a few months to get your divorce certificate in place, please make sure you do so.
What about if I am divorced and we have children together?
There are very strict international laws on the movement of children and immigration processes follow these laws.
If you are divorced and you have children, or your spouse has children from a previous relationship, or you are planning to migrate with your own children and your spouse is not accompanying there are very specific processes to follow.
1 – If you are married and your spouse is not accompanying you, but your children are.
In this case, your ex spouse/ parent of the child will need to sign a Certified Declaration document that Canada Immigration will provide to state that your spouse understands and agrees for you to move to Canada with your joint children. The immigration officer will also be in contact with your non-accompanying spouse throughout the process to confirm this.
2 – You or your spouse have divorced and you have sole custody of the children.
In this case, you still need to provide the certified declaration form to Immigration signed by your ex spouse / parent of the children involved, that states they know you are moving to Canada and they agree that their child can move to Canada with you. This is a legal requirement to be granted permanent residency. Without it, you will not be granted a visa and your application will be rejected.
Please note that sole custody/sole parental responsibility does not automatically confer the right to move children to another country.
3 – You are divorced and you have joint custody of the children.
You will need to provide the certified declaration from the other parent of the children, stating they know you are moving to Canada and they agree for the children to move permanently to Canada with you. The immigration officer will be in contact with them and the process will be in depth as they need to confirm the laws on movement of children are strictly followed. It is essential that the other parent be involved and is in agreement otherwise your application will be rejected.
What about step children and Express Entry Canada Visas?
The exact same process is involved for step-children as for biological ones. You will need the involvement of the other parent, and you will need them to sign and agree to the Declaration document that the Immigration Department will require. Without the authorization of the other parent, your application will be rejected.