Operational Bulletin 480 (Modified) – November 16, 2015

Conditional permanent residence measure for spouses and partners in relationships of two years or less and who have no children in common

Summary

This Operational Bulletin (OB) provides operational guidance to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) staff regarding regulatory amendments that introduced a two-year period of conditional permanent residence for spouses and partners who are in a relationship for two years or less with their sponsor and have no children in common at the time of the sponsorship application.

Table of contents


1. Background

The Government of Canada is concerned about marriage fraud, which can victimize Canadian citizens and permanent residents and undermine the integrity of Canada’s citizenship and immigration programs, and has taken steps to address this problem.

CIC has introduced amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (the Regulations) which specify that spouses, common-law or conjugal partners who are in a relationship with their sponsor for two years or less and have no children in common with their sponsor at the time of the sponsorship application are subject to a period of conditional permanent residence. The condition, described under subsection 72.1(1) of the Regulations, requires the sponsored spouse or partner to cohabit in a conjugal relationship with their sponsor for a period of two years after the day on which they became a permanent resident. The conditional measure only applies to permanent residents whose applications are received on or after October 25, 2012, the day that the amendments came into force.

The sponsored spouse or partner may have accompanying family members or may, after being granted permanent residence, in turn sponsor members of the family class; however, the sponsored spouse or partner is barred from sponsoring a new spouse or partner for a period of five years (see OB 386Five-year Sponsorship bar for persons who were sponsored to come to Canada as a spouse or partner). In such instances, the permanent resident status of those accompanying family members and sponsored members of the family class is contingent upon their sponsor meeting the condition. Apart from the requirement that the sponsored spouse or partner satisfy the condition, conditional permanent residence does not differ from permanent residence in any other way.

The condition ends after the two-year period has elapsed. There are two exceptions to the application of the condition. It ceases to apply when there is evidence that the sponsor has died during the two-year period of conditional permanent residence. Given concerns about the vulnerability of spouses and partners in abusive relationships, the condition also ceases to apply in instances where there is evidence of abuse or neglect from the sponsor, or of a failure by the sponsor to protect the permanent resident or a child of the permanent resident or the sponsor, or a person who is related to the permanent resident or the sponsor and who is habitually residing in their household from abuse or neglect by another person related to the sponsor (whether the perpetrator is residing in the household or not) during the conditional period. For both exceptions, the sponsored spouse or partner must have lived together in a conjugal relationship with the sponsor up until the cohabitation ceased as a result of the death of the sponsor, or of abuse or neglect.

1.1 Role of the Call Centre agents

The role of the Call Centre agents is

  • to provide information to permanent residents, who are subject to the condition, on how to request an exception from the condition and on the type of supporting evidence that can be submitted. Where there are allegations of abuse or neglect, agents should gather as much information as possible to assist the local CIC office in contacting the sponsored person to schedule an interview, in a safe, secure and confidential manner.
  • to gather relevant information and forward it to the local CIC office when the sponsored person contacts CIC to indicate that they are unable or unwilling to comply with the condition. See section 2.4.

1.2 Role of the CBSA Border Watch Line officer

When tips are received on the Border Watch Line (BWL), BWL officers will receive, gather and analyze the information and refer the tip for further investigation as appropriate.

1.3 Role of the CIC officer

The role of the CIC officer is

  1. to determine whether the condition applies when assessing applications for permanent residence for a spouse or partner applying as a member of the family class or as a member of the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class.
  2. to issue a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) with a condition, when applicable, and to issue a letter to applicants to inform them that they are subject to the condition under section R72.1.
  3. to assess requests for exceptions to the application of the condition, and to do so on an urgent basis and in a way that ensures the safety of the individuals concerned and the confidential nature of the matter.
  4. to use the Global Case Management System (GCMS) to track investigations for a relationship of convenience or when receiving requests for an exception to the conditional permanent residence, as described in section 8 of this OB.

1.4 Role of the citizenship officer

The role of citizenship officers is to ensure that the applicant meets all the citizenship requirements in order to become a Canadian citizen, including the need to be a permanent resident. Existing procedures stipulate that if a citizenship officer becomes aware that outstanding conditions exist, the local CIC (immigration section)/CBSA office is to be advised. When the citizenship officer receives confirmation from the local CIC (immigration section)/CBSA office that no enforcement action will be initiated, the processing of the citizenship application may continue.

1.5 Role of the CBSA

The role of the CBSA is to take enforcement action in cases of non-compliance.

  1. Border services officers – if the officer is satisfied that the foreign national has met the legislative requirements; the officer will allow the sponsored person entry to Canada as a permanent resident, who is subject to the condition. The sponsored person will sign the COPR confirming they understand that they are subject to the condition. The officer will also verify if sponsored family members are subject to the condition upon being allowed entry to Canada as a permanent resident.
  2. Inland enforcement officers – will review the referral and assess if the case warrants further investigation. Officers are to inform CIC of the results of all investigations, where the individual is subject to the condition, to maintain proper tracking in GCMS and for CIC to render a determination of the overall compliance of the condition.
  3. Criminal investigators – if, during the course of the investigation, the Inland Enforcement officer reviewing the file uncovers evidence of a suspected violation of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (the Act) where a criminal investigation may be warranted, including organized fraud or misrepresentation, the officer should consult with the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) for a possible referral.
  4. Hearings officers – action cases that are brought before the Immigration Division (ID) or the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB).

2. Instructions

2.1 Overview

As in all spouse, common-law or conjugal partner applications for permanent residence, the CIC officer processing the case should assess whether the relationship is genuine or whether it was entered into primarily for the purpose of acquiring any status or privilege under the Act as per subsection 4(1) of the Regulations (see OB 238, which deals with amendments to section 4 of the Regulations); and whether the applicant is a member of the family class, as per OB 396Instructions to visa officers on making determinations on membership in the family class.

Under the amended regulations, certain spouses and partners are subject to the condition that they cohabit in a conjugal relationship with their sponsor for a continuous period of two years after the day on which they became a permanent resident. Under subsection 72.1(4), a CIC officer can request evidence of compliance if they have reason to believe that the spouse or partner is not complying or has not complied with the condition. These cases will be investigated as any other possible marriage of convenience. Furthermore, evidence of compliance can be requested as part of a random assessment of the overall level of compliance with the condition by the permanent residents who are or were subject to it.

2.2 Authority and legislation

The following are descriptions and corresponding provisions in the Regulations pertaining to the Conditional Permanent Residence measure. Refer to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations for the complete regulations.

  • Condition to be met: subsection 72.1(1)
  • Permanent resident subject to the condition: subsection 72.1(2)
  • Exclusion provision: subsection 72.1(3)
  • Evidence of compliance: subsection 72.1(4)
  • Exception to the application of the condition – sponsor’s death: subsection 72.1(5)
  • Exception to the application of the condition – abuse or neglect: subsection 72.1(6)
  • Definition of Abuse and neglect: subsection 72.1(7)
  • Definition of related person: subsection 72.1(8)
  • Application of condition on accompanying family members: subsection 72.2(1)
  • Exception for accompanying family members: subsection 72.2(2)
  • Condition for sponsored person and their accompanying family members: subsection 72.3(1)
  • Exception for sponsored person and their accompanying family members: subsection 72.3(2)
  • Request for evidence and investigation of compliance, whether during or after the conditional period: section 72.4

2.3 Assessing if the condition applies

The Regulations provide for a two-year period of conditional permanent residence. The condition applies to a spouse or partner described in subsection 72.1(2) of the Regulations and whose application for permanent residence as a member of the family class or as a member of the spouse or common-law partner in-Canada class (including applicants who are eligible for processing under a Public Policy (cases coded as FCH) under [25.2]) was received on or after October 25, 2012, the day the regulatory amendments came into force. The condition also applies to a permanent resident who became a permanent resident as an accompanying family member of someone who is subject to the condition. It also applies to sponsored members of the family class of a permanent resident who is subject to the condition. For more information on accompanying family members and sponsored members of the family class who will be subject to the condition see section 5.

Condition applies

If the CIC officer approves the permanent residence application and the person has been the spouse, common-law or conjugal partner of the sponsor for two years or less and they do not have children in common at the time of the sponsorship application, the permanent resident is subject to the condition after the day on which they became a permanent resident. The CIC officer

  • issues the COPR with a condition. The officer must select “Yes” on the Conditional field of the principal applicant’s eligibility assessment record.
  • issues a letter to notify applicant of the condition. Officers must print the letter for each person subject to the condition.

In order to determine if the condition applies, officers must assess the length of the relationship under which the applicant is applying for permanent residence.

Condition does not apply

If the CIC officer approves the permanent resident application and the person has been the spouse, common-law or conjugal partner of the sponsor for more than two years or they have children in common at the time of the sponsorship application, the permanent resident is not subject to the condition.

For examples, see the chart below.

Condition applies if the couple does not have any children in common and

  • has been married for two years or less;
  • dated for four years, but has been married for two years or less;
  • has been in a conjugal relationship for two years or less;
  • has cohabited in a common-law Footnote 1 relationship for two years or less; or
  • has been in a common-law or conjugal relationship for more than two years and has been married for less than two years, and the person submitted an application as a spouse.

Condition does not apply if the couple

  • has been married for more than two years;
  • has been in a conjugal relationship for more than two years and the person submitted an application as a conjugal partner;
  • has cohabited in a common-law Footnote 1 relationship for more than two years and the person submitted an application as a common-law partner; or
  • has children in common.

Evidence of marriage, common-law or conjugal partnership may include the following:

  • marriage certificate;
  • evidence of cohabitation in a conjugal relationship for the purposes of determining a common-law relationship or a conjugal partnership.

Evidence of children in common may include the following:

  • birth certificate or adoption records listing the names of both parents;
  • DNA certificate or report (DNA testing should be used as a last resort. See OP 1, Section 13).

Note: All cases with conditional permanent residence must be input into GCMS in order to allow for the automatic tracking and removal of the condition upon completion of the two-year conditional period.

2.4 Assessing evidence of compliance of the two-year condition

To maintain their permanent resident status, the sponsored spouse or partner is required to cohabit in a conjugal relationship with their sponsor for a continuous period of two years after the day on which they became a permanent resident.

While the Regulations require a “continuous” period of two years of cohabitation, from time to time, one or the other partner may leave the home for work or business travel or family obligations. CIC officers should follow existing guidelines when assessing a period of cohabitation where temporary or short separations have occurred. See OP 2, Section 5.35 for more information.

A conjugal relationship is interpreted as being a relationship where individuals are interdependent and have a significant degree of attachment—financially, socially, emotionally, and physically—where they share household and related responsibilities, and where they have an exclusive relationship; a mutual and continuing commitment to a shared life together. See OP 2, Section 5.25 and IP 8, Section 5.20 for more information.

The sponsored spouse or partner must provide evidence of their compliance with the condition if an officer requests such evidence because they have reason to believe that the sponsored person is not complying or has not complied with the condition (for example, when a tip is received or a CIC or CBSA officer has information indicating non-compliance), or if requested as part of a random assessment of the overall level of compliance with the condition by the permanent residents who are or were subject to the condition.

If the CIC Call Centre is informed by the sponsored person that the sponsor and the sponsored spouse or partner are no longer cohabiting in a conjugal relationship, the Call Centre will refer the information within 24 hours to a local CIC office who may assess whether the sponsored spouse or partner is complying with the condition. Other calls with information or tips related to non-compliance of the condition should be referred to the CBSA Border Watch Line.

2.5 Processing instructions for cases that have met the condition

The condition ends two years after the day on which the sponsored person becomes a permanent resident. GCMS will automatically remove the tracking of the condition once the conditional period ends, except for cases under investigation. The permanent resident status of these individuals does not differ from that of other permanent residents apart from the requirement that they cohabit in a conjugal relationship with their sponsor for a period of two years after the day on which they became a permanent resident.

In situations where an investigation is completed and there is insufficient evidence of non-compliance with the condition, the CIC officer shall document the results in GCMS, update the system and issue a letter, if applicable.

2.6 Processing instructions for cases of non-compliance

CIC officers may request evidence of compliance because they have reason to believe that the sponsored spouse or partner is not complying or has not complied with the condition, or the officer may request such evidence as part of a random assessment of the overall level of compliance with the condition by the permanent residents who are or were subject to it.

CIC officers may make a determination as to whether the sponsored person has failed to comply with the condition during or after the two-year condition period (section 72.4).

If the sponsored spouse or partner does not meet the condition of cohabiting in a conjugal relationship with the sponsor during the two-year conditional period and they are not eligible for an exception to the application of the condition, their permanent resident status could be revoked. An inadmissibility (section 44) report may be written on the basis of non-compliance with paragraph 41(b) of the Act and as per subsection 72.1(1) of the Regulations, as the condition imposed would not have been met. This report could be referred to the Immigration Division (ID) of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) for a hearing and subsequent issuance of a removal order, if applicable.

If the removal order is issued the sponsored person may appeal the removal order before the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) of the IRB, as per subsection 63(3) of the Act. The IAD has the authority to allow an appeal on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, which may include Best Interest of the Child (BIOC) considerations.

If the appeal is dismissed, the removal order could be enforced, permanent residence could be revoked and removal actions could be undertaken.

3. Processing instructions for exceptions

3.1 Eligibility criteria

Spouses and partners who are or were subject to the condition and who are or were unable to meet it as a result of the death of the sponsor, or as a result of abuse or neglect during the two-year period of conditional permanent residence, may request an exception from the application of the condition at any time during the two-year conditional period or at the time of an investigation.

3.2 How to request an exception from the application of the condition

Sponsored persons who are or were subject to the condition may request an exception from the application of the condition by calling the CIC Call Centre at 1-888-242-2100. Sponsored persons may also make a request for an exception to the condition directly with the responsible local CIC office in the case where evidence of their compliance with the condition is requested as part of an investigation.

Call Centre processing and referral of exception requests

Call Centre agents will receive, gather and refer exception requests for further investigation, as appropriate.

  1. In situations concerning the death of the sponsor, the Call Centre agent will advise the sponsored person, who is or was subject to the condition, to forward evidence of their sponsor’s death to the nearest local CIC office.
  2. Where the sponsored person, who is or was subject to the condition, is requesting an exception of the condition due to abuse or neglect, the Call Centre agents will access the file, complete the privacy verification and obtain the following information (this list is not exhaustive) to refer within 24 hours to the local CIC office nearest to the sponsored person’s residence for further investigation:
    • names of persons involved;
    • UCI or file number;
    • date of birth or approximate age;
    • contact information for CIC to contact the sponsored person in a secure, safe and confidential manner in order to schedule an interview, if needed;
    • narrative of the request; and
    • any other relevant information provided by the caller.
  3. Authorized representatives and representatives from non-governmental organizations (NGO), such as a shelter, may assist the permanent resident in requesting an exception of the condition based on abuse or neglect.

3.3 Exception for death of the sponsor

The condition ceases to apply if the sponsor dies during the two-year conditional period and the CIC officer determines, based on evidence provided by the sponsored person who is or was subject to the condition, or any other relevant evidence, that the sponsored spouse or partner continued to cohabit in a conjugal relationship with the sponsor until the sponsor’s death.

Evidence of the death of the sponsor

A death certificate or attestation or confirmation from the funeral home may be accepted as evidence in the event of the death of the sponsor.

3.4 Exception for abuse or neglect

The condition ceases to apply if a CIC officer determines, based on all available evidence, that the sponsored spouse or partner is or was unable to meet the condition because

  • one of the following situations occurs:
    • the sponsored person, a child of the sponsored person and/or of the sponsor, or a person who is related to the sponsored person or the sponsor and who is habitually residing in their household, was subjected by the sponsor to any abuse or neglect referred to in subsection 72.1(7) of the Regulations, or
    • the sponsor has failed to provide protection from abuse or neglect by another person who is related to the sponsor, whether that person is residing in the household or not; and
  • the sponsored spouse or partner has cohabited in a conjugal relationship with the sponsor until the cohabitation ceased as a result of the abuse or neglect.
3.4.1 Assessing evidence of abuse or neglect

Abuse may take many different forms: physical abuse, including assault and forcible confinement; sexual abuse, including sexual contact without consent; psychological abuse, including threats and intimidation; or financial abuse, including fraud and extortion; and neglect consisting of the failure to provide the necessaries of life, such as food, clothing, medical care, shelter, and any other omission that results in a risk of serious harm. Coercion into forced marriage (when one or both people do not consent to the marriage) is also a form of abuse and, therefore, a sponsored spouse or partner who is a victim of a forced marriage can request an exception to the condition. Victims may experience more than one form of abuse, as set out in the Regulations, subsection 72.1(7). See Appendix C – Types of abuse and Appendix D – Abuse or neglect considerations.

A forced marriage takes place when one or both people do not consent to the marriage. Unlike arranged marriages which take place with the consent of both parties, in forced marriages, individuals are coerced to marry, usually by family members, through threats, physical violence, or emotional manipulation. A forced marriage can happen to individuals of any culture, class, religion, and area of the world, including in Canada and to Canadian citizens or permanent residents travelling or living abroad. It can happen to both men and women of all ages. When a person has made a claim of forced marriage and seeks to request an exception to the conditional permanent residence, officers should ensure that care is taken to ensure any communication with the permanent resident is confidential and not accessible by anyone else.

a) Weighing evidence of abuse or neglect

  • Evidence must clearly show the abuse or neglect was the reason for the breakdown of the marriage.
  • The evidence provided may relate to one or a number of incidents and may be used to build a case history, in order to make as thorough a decision as possible, as to whether the abuse or neglect occurred. All decisions based on such evidence must be thoroughly explained. However, officers should keep in mind that some evidence may be difficult for a victim of abuse or neglect to acquire.
  • Applicants should provide as much evidence as possible to satisfy a CIC officer they were the victim of abuse or neglect.
  • Officers can assess the credibility of the information provided. The exception to the condition applies if the CIC officer is satisfied that there is evidence of abuse. Application of the exception does not depend on the severity of the abuse experienced by the victim.

b) Potential victims or perpetrators for the purposes of the exception for abuse or neglect

Potential victims:

  • the sponsored spouse or partner;
  • a child of the sponsor and the sponsored spouse or partner;
  • a child of the sponsored spouse or partner;
  • a child of the sponsor;
  • a person related to either the sponsor or the sponsored spouse or partner who was habitually residing in their household, which may include:
    • a parent or grandparent,
    • a child or grandchild,
    • a sibling,
    • a niece or nephew,
    • an aunt or uncle, and
    • a cousin.

A child of the sponsored spouse or partner or of the sponsor can be

  • adopted or biological;
  • the child of the sponsor, the child of the sponsored spouse or partner, or both;
  • of any age; and
  • residing in the household or not.

For the purpose of the exception, the abuse or neglect would have to be perpetrated by

  • the sponsor;
  • a person related to the sponsor, whether that person is residing in the household or not, which may include:
    • a parent or grandparent,
    • a child or grandchild,
    • a sibling,
    • a niece or nephew,
    • an aunt or uncle, and
    • a cousin.
3.4.2 Assessing evidence of cohabitation and of a conjugal relationship

CIC officers must be satisfied that the sponsored spouse or partner continued to cohabit in a conjugal relationship with the sponsor until the cohabitation ceased as a result of abuse or neglect.

The exception to the condition will also apply in instances where there is evidence that the sponsored spouse or partner is a victim of abuse or neglect, but continues to cohabit with their sponsor due to fear of losing their status in Canada.

4. Assessing cases involving victims of abuse or neglect

Important:

  • Local CIC offices must assess requests for an exception to the condition for reasons of abuse or neglect on an urgent basis. Initial contact with the requestor should be made within five working days of receipt of the exception request as victims are often in a vulnerable situation or could be living in a shelter. Officers should inform their manager if they are unable to contact the victim within the five-day period, but should continue to make efforts to contact the victim using the contact information provided.
  • Officers should indicate in GCMS notes all attempts made to contact the victim.
  • Do not release any information regarding any type of abuse without the written consent of the victim.
  • In all cases involving abuse, neglect or child abuse, officers must document steps taken in GCMS.
  • When individuals report abuse, neglect or child abuse to CIC, officers should advise them that this information may be disclosed to authorized representatives (for example, sponsors, other family members or friends, lawyers or consultants), unless this authorization is otherwise revoked. If an individual advises an officer that they would like to revoke the authorized representative, the officer should ensure that GCMS is updated immediately.
  • When individuals report abuse, neglect or child abuse to CIC, officers must document in GCMS that such information should be exempted under section 17 of the Access to Information Act (ATIA) or section 25 of the Privacy Act, for the purpose of future requests under the ATIA or the Privacy Act.

CIC officers should consider the need to refer victims of abuse or neglect to available resources in the community. See Appendix G – Victim services and resources for a list of services and resources for victims of abuse or neglect.

4.1 Safety precautions when assessing cases involving victims of abuse or neglect

Some sponsored spouses or partners will have ceased cohabiting with their sponsor while others may contact CIC to report abuse or neglect while still residing in the home with the sponsor. In all cases, CIC officers must take special caution and sensitivity in dealings with permanent residents, who are or were subject to the condition, who report abuse or neglect in order to ensure the safety of the sponsored person and any children that may be involved. See Appendix E – Safety precautions and Appendix G – Victim services and resources for a list of services and resources for victims of abuse or neglect.

Interview considerations

CIC officers may allow the sponsored person who is or was subject to the condition to provide submissions and supporting evidence by mail, email, and fax, or by telephone interview and, if able, render a decision based on the documentation received. If the officer is not satisfied by the documentation provided, an interview may be warranted.

There may be situations that make it difficult for a sponsored person, who is or was subject to the condition, to attend an interview due to distance or finances. CIC officers should take these factors into consideration when assessing compliance or requesting evidence for the purpose of assessing an exception request. If there is still insufficient evidence and an in-person interview is warranted, officers may seek guidance from their supervisors or the support of NHQ-OMC.

Where there are allegations of abuse or neglect and submissions are requested (by mail, email, fax or by telephone interview), CIC officers should ensure they send all communications to the sponsored person who is or was subject to the condition (to an address, email, and phone or fax number provided by the individual). If the officer is unable to assess the safety of the address, email, and phone or fax number, the communications should not be sent, to avoid possible intervention by the perpetrator.

Correspondence should provide a deadline for the submissions, which outlines the possible consequences of not providing a response (for example, refusal of the exception request, pursuit of a section 44 report in cases of non-compliance).

Furthermore, if CIC officers are unable to contact an individual after they have received a request for the application of the exception on the grounds of abuse or neglect, the officer should make several attempts to contact the individual and, if unable to do so, render a decision based on the available information and update GCMS to indicate what steps were taken and how the attempts were made (for example, phone calls, emails and letters).

See Appendix E – Safety precautions for more information.

4.2 Legal obligation to report to child welfare authorities

Any officer or agent who receives information regarding any form of abuse against a child or in the presence of a child must report it to their immediate supervisor or manager and to CIC-NHQ.

The supervisor or manager shall consult with the local director and report the information to the appropriate authorities if there is indication that there is clear and imminent threat of harm or danger to the child. Information should only be released to the authorities without the consent of the individual if there is a clear and imminent threat of harm or danger to the children. Officers must notify NHQ of these cases. A memo must be prepared outlining the disclosure and the reason for the disclosure.

Subparagraph 8(2)(m)(i) of the Privacy Act allows for the disclosure of personal information without consent of the individual concerned where, in the opinion of the head of the institution the public interest in disclosure clearly outweighs any invasion of privacy that could result from the disclosure. Where there is information regarding child abuse and there is a clear and imminent threat of harm or danger to the children, a memo should be drafted using existing templates seeking the approval of the Deputy Minister to release the information to the authorities without the consent of the individual pursuant to subparagraph 8(2)(m)(i) of the Privacy Act.

4.3 Considerations for cases involving victims of abuse or neglect

There are many reasons why a victim may not report abuse to the authorities. There may also be circumstances where there is little evidence to substantiate abuse. The information provided in Appendix D – Abuse or neglect considerations is based on consultations with various federal departments as well as NGOs with expertise in the area of abuse in immigrant communities. The appendices are intended to assist officers to better understand victims of abuse, the difficulties that some permanent residents who are or were subject to the condition may have in discussing or reporting the abuse and furthermore requesting an exception from the condition on that basis.

5. Impact on accompanying family members or sponsored members of the family class

5.1 Condition for accompanying family members

Accompanying family members who become permanent residents as part of the spouse or partner’s application for permanent residence can include the following persons:

  • The dependent children of the sponsored spouse, partner or sponsor; and
  • The dependent children of those dependent children.

If the sponsored spouse or partner does not meet the condition of cohabiting in a conjugal relationship with the sponsor during the two-year period, removal action may be initiated. If removal action is taken against a sponsored spouse or partner on the basis of non-compliance with the condition, the accompanying family members could also become subject to removal action (non-compliance of the condition under section 41 of the Act, as per subsection 72.2(1) of the Regulations).

5.1.1 Exception to the condition for accompanying family members

An exception may be granted if there is evidence that the sponsored spouse or partner’s inability to meet the condition was caused by the death of the sponsor, or abuse or neglect.

5.2 Condition for members of the family class sponsored during or after the conditional period

The sponsored spouse or partner may also, after being granted permanent residence, sponsor members of the family class, however, the sponsored spouse or partner is barred from sponsoring a new spouse or partner for a period of five years, see OB 386Five-year Sponsorship bar for persons who were sponsored to come to Canada as a spouse or partner. In such instances, the permanent resident status of these sponsored individuals would be contingent upon their sponsor meeting the condition.

If the sponsored spouse or partner does not meet the condition of cohabiting in a conjugal relationship with the sponsor during the two-year conditional period, removal action may be initiated. If removal action is taken against a sponsored spouse or partner on the basis of non-compliance with the condition, members of the family class sponsored during or after the conditional period and their accompanying family members could also become subject to a removal order, (non-compliance of the condition under section 41 of the Act, as per subsection 72.3(1) of the Regulations).

Sponsored members of the family class may include

  • dependent children (and the dependent children of a dependent child);
  • adopted children;
  • parents and grandparents;
  • orphaned siblings, nieces and nephews and grandchildren under 18 years of age who are not married or in a common-law relationship; and
  • other relatives in specific circumstances.
5.2.1 Exception to the condition for members of the family class sponsored during or after the conditional period

An exception may be granted if there is evidence that the sponsored spouse or partner who sponsored the family class member was unable to meet the condition as a result of the death of the sponsor, or as a result of abuse or neglect.

6. Relationship breakdown and impact on sponsorship undertaking

There are no exceptions to the condition for a natural relationship break down. If the relationship breaks down, the sponsor remains financially responsible until the end of the three-year undertaking period, irrespective of the cause of the breakdown. The sponsor also remains financially responsible in situations where the spouse or partner has been granted an exception from the condition, due to abuse or neglect.

7. Ongoing investigations into compliance and pending citizenship applications

During the processing of the citizenship application, citizenship officers perform mandatory checks in GCMS prior to scheduling applicants for their citizenship event (test, interview, hearing and ceremony). Therefore, if there is no adverse information in GCMS, processing of the citizenship application will continue. However, if there is any information indicating that the permanent resident status is in doubt because of possible non-compliance with the condition, or an ongoing investigation has started, the citizenship application will be put on hold until confirmation is received from the local CIC (immigration section)/CBSA office that there will be no enforcement action against the applicant.

8. System changes

Since November 30, 2013, GCMS release 5.0 provides users with the ability to track and record outcomes of level 1 and level 2 investigations into relationships of convenience, as well as requests for an exception to conditional permanent residence for a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner. As a result, officers conducting level 1 or level 2 investigations for a relationship of convenience or receiving requests for an exception to conditional permanent residence must ensure a marriage of convenience (MOC) investigation or conditional exception activity is created in GCMS in order to track the outcome of these investigations or requests for an exception to conditional permanent residence.

9. Further information

Appendices

Related operational instructions

  • OB 238Amendment to section 4 of the Regulations
  • OB 386Five-year Sponsorship Bar for persons who were sponsored to come to Canada as a spouse or partner
  • OB 396Instructions to visa officers on making determinations on membership in the family class
  • OB 613Instructions – Excluded relationship – Proxy, telephone, fax, internet or similar marriage forms where one or both parties not physically present

Appendices

Appendix A – Definitions

Cohabitation
  • Means to “live together.” Two people who are cohabiting have combined their affairs and set up their household together in one dwelling.
  • While cohabitation means living together continuously, from time to time, one or the other partner may have left the home for work or business travel, family obligations and so on. Any periods of separation must be temporary and short.
Conjugal relationship
  • Is interpreted as being a relationship where individuals are interdependent financially, socially, emotionally, and physically, where they share household and related responsibilities, and where they have made a serious commitment to one another.
Child of the permanent resident or the sponsor

A child can be

  • adopted or biological;
  • the child of the sponsor or sponsored spouse or both;
  • of any age; and
  • residing in the household or not.
Person who is related to the permanent resident or the sponsor

A person who is related to the sponsor or sponsored spouse or partner may include any of the following persons, related either by birth,Footnote 2 adoption, marriage, common-law partnership or conjugal partnership:

  • parent or grandparent;
  • child or grandchild;
  • sibling;
  • niece or nephew;
  • aunt or uncle; and
  • cousin.
“habitually residing”
  • Refers to a person’s domicile of choice, that is, the place where the person’s life is centered and where he or she intends to live indefinitely. The word “habitually” implies a more enduring and permanent connection between a person and a place than simply residing somewhere for a brief period of time.
  • The habitual residence of a person is typically exclusive in the sense that a person can only have one habitual residence at a time.

Note: Although duration of residence is only one factor to be considered in deciding if a person is habitually residing in a household, it is unlikely that habitual residence can be acquired based upon a very brief period of residence, regardless of the person’s intention since habitual residence implies a significant period of presence together with an intention to live in a place.


Appendix B – Evidence

Evidence of cohabitation

Evidence of cohabitation that could be used to confirm whether a sponsored spouse or partner is cohabiting with their sponsor may include:

  • joint bank accounts or credit cards;
  • joint ownership of residential property;
  • joint residential leases;
  • joint rental receipts;
  • joint utilities accounts (electricity, gas, telephone);
  • joint management of household expenditures;
  • evidence of joint purchases, especially for household items;
  • correspondence addressed to either or both parties at the same address;
  • important documents of both parties show the same address, for example, identification documents, driver’s licenses, insurance policies, etc.;
  • shared responsibility for household management, household chores, etc.;
  • evidence of children of one or both partners residing with the couple;
  • telephone calls.

These elements may be present in varying degrees and not all are necessary to prove cohabitation. This list is not exhaustive; other evidence may be taken into consideration.

While cohabitation means living together continuously, from time to time, one or the other partner may have left the home for work or business travel, family obligations, and so on. The separation must be temporary and short.

See section 5.35 of OP 2 for more information.

Evidence of a conjugal relationship

Factors that can be considered in determining whether the sponsored spouse is in a conjugal relationship include:

  • shared shelter (for example, sleeping arrangements);
  • sexual and personal behaviour (for example, fidelity, commitment, feelings towards each other) in instances where an interview is warranted;
  • services (for example, conduct and habit with respect to the sharing of household chores);
  • social activities (for example, their attitude and conduct as a couple in the community and with their families);
  • economic support (for example, financial arrangements, ownership of property);
  • children (for example, attitude and conduct concerning children);
  • the societal perception of the two as a couple.

This list is a set of elements which, when taken together or in various combinations, may constitute evidence of interdependency. It should be kept in mind that these elements may be present in varying degrees and not all are necessary for a relationship to be considered conjugal.

See section 5.26 of OP 2 for a list of elements and examples of supporting documents which could be taken into consideration.

Evidence of abuse or neglect or that the sponsor failed to protect from abuse or neglect

  • Court documents or protective orders including: release, no-contact or bail orders, orders pending trial or appeal, recognizance orders or peace bonds, probation orders following convictions, conviction certificate, victim impact statements (must clearly state that abuse occurred or is believed to have occurred)
  • Letter or statement from women’s shelter or domestic abuse support organization
  • Letter or statement from family services clinic
  • Letter, statement or report from a medical doctor or a healthcare professional
  • Sworn statement (affidavit)
  • Police or incident report (related documents – reports indicating passports and travel documents were withheld and the police had to retrieve them)
  • Photos which show the victim with injuries
  • Hard copies of email messages
  • Affidavit from a friend, a family member, a neighbour, a co-worker, staff members of support agencies, law enforcement, etc.

This list is not exhaustive and is simply intended to provide examples.

Evidence of death

A death certificate or an attestation or a confirmation from the funeral home would be accepted as evidence in the event that the sponsor dies.


Appendix C – Types of abuse

Physical abuse is abuse involving physical contact intended to cause feelings of intimidation, pain, injury, or other physical suffering or bodily harm. Physical abuse includes

  • being hit, beaten, slapped, punched, choked, burned, pushed or shoved in a way that results or could result in injury;
  • forcefully isolating the victim from friends and family;
  • confining the victim (habitual residence or other);
  • forcing the victim to engage in drug or alcohol use or illegal behaviour against their will and possibly creating dependencies.

This list is not exhaustive; other types of physical abuse may also be taken into consideration for the purposes of determining the application of the exception set out in subsection 72.1(6) of the Regulations.

Sexual abuse encompasses any situation in which force or threat is used to obtain participation in unwanted sexual activity or coercing a person to engage in sex, against their will, including

  • marital or spousal rape;
  • forcing or manipulating another into having sex or performing sexual acts;
  • forcing unsafe or degrading sexual acts;
  • using physical force to compel a person to engage in a sexual act against another person’s will;
  • using physical force, weapons or objects in non-consensual sexual acts;
  • involving other people in non-consensual sexual acts;
  • exposing, suggesting, attempting or completing a sexual act involving a minor; and
  • exposing, suggesting, attempting or completing a sexual act involving a person who is unable to understand the nature or condition of the act, unable to decline participation, or unable to communicate unwillingness to engage in the sexual act (for example, because of illness, disability, or the influence of alcohol or other drugs, or because of intimidation or pressure).

This list is not exhaustive; other types of sexual abuse may also be taken into consideration for the purposes of determining the application of the exception set out in subsection 72.1(6) Regulations.

Psychological abuse includes the following:

  • where there is a pattern of coercive or controlling behaviour, which can include, but is not limited to insults, intimidation, humiliation, harassment or threats, name-calling, yelling, blaming, shaming, ridiculing, disrespecting, and criticising;
  • controlling what the victim can and cannot do;
  • threatening to commit suicide;
  • being threatened with murder;
  • being intimidated, threatened or harmed with a knife, gun or other object or weapon;
  • using religious or spiritual beliefs to manipulate, dominate, and control; and
  • threatening to take away or hurt the victim’s children.

This list is not exhaustive; other types of psychological abuse may also be taken into consideration for the purposes of determining the application of the exception set out in subsection 72.1(6) of the Regulations.

Financial abuse is a form of abuse where one partner has control over the other partner’s access to economic resources. The motive behind preventing a spouse from acquiring resources is to diminish the victim’s capacity to support themselves, thus forcing them to depend on the perpetrator financially. Financial abuse can include

  • stealing or taking the victim’s money, salary or checks;
  • controlling finances or refusing to share money;
  • rigidly controlling finances and limiting the amount of resources the victim can access;
  • withholding money or credit cards;
  • exploiting the victim’s economic resources;
  • closely monitoring how the victim spends money;
  • destroying the victim’s property;
  • spending the victim’s money without their consent;
  • creating debt, or completely spending the victim’s savings to limit available resources;
  • preventing the victim from working, attending school or choosing their own career; and
  • sabotaging the victim’s job (making the victim miss work, calling the victim constantly).

This list is not exhaustive; other types of financial abuse may also be taken into consideration for the purposes of determining the application of the exception set out in subsection 72.1(6) Regulations.

Forced marriage is a form of abuse that happens when one or both parties do not consent to the marriage. Family members sometimes use physical violence, abduction, forced confinement or emotional abuse to force the person into the marriage. Even if parents try to force their child to marry because they think it is good for the child, using threats or violence to do this is a crime.

Neglect

Neglect consists of the failure to provide the necessaries of life, such as food, clothing, medical care or shelter, and any other omission that result in a risk of serious harm.


Appendix D – Abuse or neglect considerations

Note: There are many reasons why a victim may not report abuse to the authorities. As well, there may be circumstances where there is little evidence to substantiate abuse. The information provided below is based on consultations with various federal departments as well as non-governmental organizations with expertise in the area of domestic abuse in immigrant communities. It is intended to assist officers to better understand victims of abuse, the difficulties some permanent residents, who are subject to the condition, may have in discussing or reporting the abuse and furthermore, requesting an exception from the condition on that basis.

Barriers to a victim escaping an abusive relationship

  • Belief that staying is best for the children, or fear of losing custody of children
  • Lack of employment skills
  • Financial dependency on abuser
  • Inability to afford legal assistance with divorce, custody or protection order proceedings
  • Fear of court system intervention
  • Isolation of victim from social or family connections
  • Victim is attempting to change in hopes abuse will stop
  • Abuser expresses remorse and promises to change
  • Abuser has degraded victim to the point that the victim believes statements and lacks self confidence necessary to leave
  • Lack of trust in the criminal justice system
  • Maintenance of family honour
  • Fear of abandonment by the victim’s family or potential for violence from the family if the victim leaves

Barriers specific to recent immigrants

  • May feel alone, have trouble talking with or relating to Canadians, or be overcome with fear
  • Religious and cultural constraints
  • May not have knowledge of Canadian laws, rights or support services available
  • Language barriers make it difficult for immigrants to navigate the legal system and to access services
  • May have been threatened with deportation by their sponsor or threats of withdrawal of sponsorship of family members
  • May be scared of police involvement due to past experiences with police in their home countries, especially where police are symbols of human rights violations
  • Maintenance of family and community honour

Reasons why victims may not disclose abuse

A person who is abused may endure the violence for a long time before seeking support or they may never tell anyone. The reasons why victims may keep abuse secret relate to their circumstances, feelings, beliefs and level of knowledge about domestic abuse.

Circumstances

  • Age or developmental stage: Very young children may be unable to articulate or communicate what has happened to them.
  • Physical frailty or disability: People with physical or cognitive disabilities may have limited access to others or to communications devices, or they may be unable to articulate what has happened to them.
  • Literacy, language or cultural barriers: People who do not speak English or French could be unable to access services and supports in their own language, or they may fear deportation or other complications relating to their sponsorship or immigration status. For more information, see Appendix G.
  • Geographic or social isolation: People who live in rural or remote communities, or who are not connected to others in their communities may lack access to information, resources, supports and services.
  • Dependency: Victims may be emotionally, physically, or economically dependent on the perpetrator.
  • Social pressure: Victims may feel social pressure to maintain a relationship and protect the family’s or the community’s reputation.

Feelings and beliefs

Victims often feel conflicting emotions and suffer confusion or shame. They may believe that the abuse is their fault and that they will be punished for telling. Depending on their situation, victims may fear any of the following outcomes if they tell someone about the abuse:

  • They will not be believed.
  • They or their family will be rejected or stigmatized.
  • Their sexual identity will be questioned.
  • They or the abuser will be removed from the home.
  • They will no longer be allowed to have contact with their parent(s) or children.
  • They will be abandoned or institutionalized.
  • They will lose custody of, or access to, their children.
  • The abuser could have manipulated, bribed, coerced or threatened the victim to prevent them from telling anyone about the abuse. The victim therefore might be afraid of the abuser’s revenge.
  • The victim might still love the perpetrator and want the relationship to continue, hoping that the abuse will stop. The person who has been abusive may have expressed feelings of remorse. Victims sometimes do not want to admit that they have been abused. They may want to protect family members, including the abuser, by keeping the abuse and family problems secret. They might not want the abuser, who may be their spouse, parent or child, to be removed from the home, go to jail, or have a criminal record.
  • Victims may have personal views about family, relationships and child-rearing that emphasizes privacy and condones the use of physical punishment. They may be influenced by gender role beliefs that support inequality and violence in relationships.
  • They may not believe that involving child welfare authorities or the criminal justice system will stop the abuse — or that these systems will be able to help or protect them.
  • They may also fear that child welfare involvement may break up their family.

Knowledge

  • Victims may not know how to report abuse, or they may be afraid of what will happen when a report is made.

Reasons why persons who witness or suspect abuse may not report it

Other people—including professionals, neighbours, friends and other relatives or family members—may witness or suspect abuse, but not report it. Their reasons for not reporting relate to their circumstances, feelings, beliefs and level of knowledge.

Circumstances

  • Dependence on the perpetrator: Depending on their circumstances, other relatives and family members may be physically, emotionally or economically dependent on the abuser and may be fearful of what will happen if they report the abuse.

Concern about the demands of becoming involved

  • Some people may fear that it will take too much time or energy to report abuse. They could feel that they will be unable to cope if they become involved in any way.
  • Shame and stigma: Other relatives and family members may feel ashamed of having abuse in their family and fearful of what will happen if they report the abuse.

Feelings and beliefs

  • Disbelief: They may not believe that the victim has been abused.
  • Do not believe reporting will be helpful: They may not believe that reporting abuse is in the victim’s best interest or that reporting the abuse will solve the problem. They may believe that no appropriate services are available to help the victim, or they may want to avoid having the victim or abuser removed from the home.
  • Personal views: They may hold personal views that hinder their willingness to report abuse. For example, they may want to protect family privacy, or they may believe that the physical punishment is not abusive.

Knowledge

  • Lack of knowledge: They may not know about the signs of abuse, or they could believe that the abuse is not serious if there are no visible or serious injuries.
  • Lack of understanding: They may not understand or know about their responsibility to report abuse. They may not know that they can report the abuse, or that they can report it without being identified and without legal consequences, unless the report is false and made maliciously. Most provincial and territorial child welfare laws require anyone, including professionals and members of the public, who suspects that a child is being maltreated to make a report to the appropriate child welfare authority.

For these and other reasons, many cases of family violence are still not reported to either police or child welfare authorities.


Appendix E – Safety precautions

Note: This document is based on consultations with various federal departments as well as non-governmental organizations with expertise in the area of domestic abuse in immigrant communities.

Safety precautions

  • Find out the safest way to contact the sponsored person, who is subject to the condition, along with any alternative methods (such as a trusted friend of family member’s phone number). As well, find out if the sponsored person has a way to discreetly contact the department in the future.
  • Do not disclose the sponsored person’s address(es), telephone number(s), or information about any children involved without the sponsored person’s permission, except in cases where the officer is reporting to Provincial Child Welfare Authorities.
  • Confirm the computer systems reflect the sponsored person’s contact address to ensure that notices (for example, for an interview) are not inadvertently sent to the wrong person (namely, the perpetrator).
  • Find out whether or not the sponsored person is still residing in the home with the perpetrator or if they are living in a secure environment for future contact.
  • Ensure you include notes in the Global Case Management System (GCMS) as to whether or not the sponsored person speaks English or French fluently; or whether or not an interpreter is necessary and if so, which language. Document all attempts at contact in GCMS.
  • Always arrange to have the caller ID information blocked so that the Government of Canada contact information does not appear on the call display; this will help to prevent the perpetrator from using caller ID to discover that the sponsored person is obtaining assistance.

    Note: From a Government of Canada telephone, you may dial *148 followed by the number, to block the caller ID.

  • Only speak directly with the sponsored person about the case; confirm the identity of the person you are speaking with, ask security questions (privacy verification).
  • Do not leave a message on voicemail or with family members unless the sponsored person has told you it is safe to do so. When leaving a message, do not give your last name or disclose that you are calling from the Government of Canada or Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
  • When you call the sponsored person, always ask first if it is safe to talk as the perpetrator may be present. You may want to establish code words to signal if the individual is in danger.
  • If necessary, remind the sponsored person to have an explanation for the time spent at your appointments and to limit the children’s knowledge, so that the perpetrator does not find out about legal actions or an upcoming separation ahead of time.
  • You may also recommend that the sponsored person use a computer outside of the home (such as at a public library or at a trusted family member or friend’s house), in case the sponsored person’s computer use is being monitored (for example, tracking websites or reading emails).
  • Do not disclose information relating to allegations of domestic abuse that may put the sponsored person at greater risk.
  • If you believe the sponsored person is in imminent danger, call the police.
  • During the investigation, officers should be cognizant that their actions and contacts with other members of the family and community may inadvertently further endanger the sponsored person. Thus, caution should be used when discussing details of the case.
  • The sponsored person may need personal safety advice, including a referral to local counselling services, shelters, as well as the police.

Appendix G – Victim services and resources

Note: This document is based on consultations with various federal departments as well as publications created by the Department of Justice. It also includes information gathered in consultation with non-governmental organizations with expertise in the area of domestic abuse in immigrant communities. It is intended to provide Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) staff with tools to refer victims of abuse or neglect to available victim services in their community.

The CIC website provides an interactive map to help search for immigrant services according to area, including health, women and community services.

The Department of Justice has many web-based products and publications that may be of use for CIC and CBSA employees to refer victims of abuse or neglect to victim services in their local community, such as the following:

Victim Services Directory – Search victim services in the local community by inputting the postal code on the top right-hand side of the page.

The Department of Justice has a useful publication called: Abuse is Wrong in any Language, which provides information about abuse and resources that the victim may be unaware of. It has been published in the following languages:

Community Resource List

It is a good idea to create in advance a personal community resource list. In addition to the police, there are various organizations and agencies that can offer support or helpful information. Look in the white, yellow or blue pages of your telephone book for contact numbers for the following local or provincial agencies. (Be sure to keep these numbers up to date, since they may change from time to time.)

Police
Can help you assess your safety and take action against someone committing a crime. Dial 911 in an emergency.
Local police
Can help you in non-emergency situations. Check the first few pages of your telephone book for the telephone number.
Public legal education associations
Can provide general information about the law, the legal system, and your rights as a person experiencing abuse.
Victim services
Can refer you to counselling and tell you about programs and services for victims of crime.
Crisis lines
May be able to help with crisis intervention and refer you to helpful services.
Shelters/Transition houses
Can provide shelter, information and referrals for women or men who experience spousal abuse.
Mental health offices
Can offer information or counselling on depression, stress, and mental health issues.
Multicultural and immigrant-serving organizations
May be able to provide information and refer you to helpful services.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Can answer questions on immigration status and process, and provide information on the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
Telephone: 1-888-242-2100.
People I trust
May be able to offer emotional and practical support — family, friends, doctor, religious advisor, and so on.
Other
Look for other sources of help! For example, you may find help from a local women’s centre, a community care centre, or a social agency.

Child Abuse

If you know a child who needs help or you suspect abuse, please call the local Helpline for Children at the numbers below. If you think the matter is urgent and you cannot reach the appropriate child protection authorities, call your local police.

Alberta

1-800-387-KIDS (1-800-387-5437)

To contact the ministry
Website: www.child.alberta.ca/home/534.cfm
Telephone: 780-422-3004 (Monday to Friday 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)
Fax: 780-422-3071
For toll-free access in Alberta dial 310-0000.

To find local child welfare services
Website: www.child.alberta.ca/home/local_offices.cfm

British Columbia

Call local child welfare services (Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) or after-hours call the Helpline for Children at 310-1234 or call police.

To contact the ministry
In Victoria call 250-387-6121
In Vancouver call 604-660-2421
Elsewhere in B.C. call 800-663-7867
Outside B.C. call 604-660-2421
Email: EnquiryBC@gems3.gov.bc.ca

To find local child welfare services
Check telephone book blue pages or call the Helpline for Children at 310-1234 (you do not need an area code). A ministry social worker will answer the call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Manitoba

In Winnipeg:
Telephone: 204-944-4200
Toll-free: 888-834-9767
After-hours (emergency calls only): 204-944-4050

To contact the ministry
Call 204-945-3744 or toll-free 866-626-4862. (TDD 204-945-4796).
Email: mgi@gov.mb.ca
Website: www.gov.mb.ca/fs/childfam/child_protection.html

To find local child welfare services
Website: www.gov.mb.ca/fs/childfam/child_protection.html
Province-wide intake and emergency after-hours child and family services telephone number: 866-345-9241

New Brunswick

To report suspected child maltreatment
Tel.: 800-992-2873 or emergency after-hours 800-442-9799

To contact the ministry and find local child welfare services during business hours
Tel.: 866-444-8838

To find local child welfare services online:
Website: app.infoaa.7700.gnb.ca

Newfoundland and Labrador

To report suspected child maltreatment
Child Protection Services (Child Abuse) (709) 570-7819
After hours call (709) 570-7819

Website:  www.gov.nl.ca/cyfs/report.html

Nova Scotia

To report suspected child maltreatment
Tel.: 877-424-1177 or after hours 866-922-2434
Website: www.gov.ns.ca/coms/families/abuse/

To find local child welfare services
Website: www.gov.ns.ca/coms/department/contact/index.html

Northwest Territories

To report suspected child maltreatment
Contact local services. In Yellowknife, call 867-873-7276 or 867-873-1929 after hours.
HELP Line 867-920-2121

To contact the Department of Health and Social Services
Telephone: 867-873-7046
Fax: 867-873-7706

Website: www.hlthss.gov.nt.ca
Website: www.hss.gov.nt.ca/social-services/child-and-family-services

Crisis Telephone Line
Call 867-872-4133 collect from anywhere in the NWT for help with personal problems.
Toll-free 877-872-5925

Nunavut

To report suspected child maltreatment:
In Iqaluit: Call Iqaluit Dispatch at 867-979-5650 and ask to have the on-call social worker contact you.
In all other Nunavut communities: Contact your local social work office, health centre or the local community RCMP.
In areas outside of Nunavut jurisdictions, contact your local CAS or police agency to report.

To contact the Nunavut Department of Health and Social Services:
Telephone: 867-975-5700
Fax: 867-975-5799.
Website: www.gov.nu.ca/health/

Ontario

To report suspected child maltreatment
Call your local children’s aid society listed in the telephone book emergency pages, or your local police. There are 53 local Children’s Aid Societies in Ontario. To locate the one for your area, and the telephone number for it, click on this link: www.oacas.org/childwelfare/locate.htm

To contact the Ministry of Children and Youth Services
Telephone Toll-free: 866-821-7770
TTY: 800-387-5559

Website: www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/index.aspx

To find local child welfare services
Call the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies at 416-987-7725

Prince Edward Island

To report suspected child maltreatment
Tel.: 800-341-6868 or 911 or call local police or child and family services (below).
Website: www.gov.pe.ca/infopei/index.php3?number=20625

Quebec

To report suspected child maltreatment
Telephone: 866-532-2822 or 800-263-2266 (French only)
After hours or emergencies: Telephone: 811

For services in English on the island of Montreal, call Batshaw Youth and Family Centres at 514-935-6196.

To find local child welfare services
Website: www.msss.gouv.qc.ca/en/reseau/info_sante.php

To contact the ministry:
Website: wwwxml.gouv.qc.ca/courriel/index_en.asp?s=38

Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Québec City area: 418-644-4545
Montréal area: 514-644-4545
Elsewhere in Quebec : 877-644-4545 (toll-free)

To find local child welfare services
Contact local Centre jeunesse (Child Protection Centre).
Website: www.acjq.qc.ca (French only)

Saskatchewan

To report suspected child maltreatment
Saskatoon – City: 306-933-6077
Saskatoon – Rural: 306-933-5069 or 800-274-8297
Regina: 306-787-3760
Kids Help Line: 888-668-6868
Police emergency: 911
Little Warriors website: littlewarriors.ca/help/regional/sk/

To contact the Child and Family Services Division of Social Services
Telephone: 306-787-7010
Fax: 306-787-0925
Website: www.socialservices.gov.sk.ca/child-protection.pdf

First Nations and Métis Services
Telephone: 306-787-3949

Children’s Services
Telephone: 306-787-2245

Family Support and Child Protection
Telephone: 306-787-0008

Yukon

To report suspected child maltreatment
Tel.: 867-667-3002 or 800-661-0408, local 3002 (24 hours)
Website: www.hss.gov.yk.ca/childabuse.php

To contact the Department of Health and Social Services, Family and Children’s Services
Tel.: 867-667-3002
Website: www.hss.gov.yk.ca/family_children.php

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