Battered Women’s Support Services is pleased that the federal government has removed conditional permanent residence for sponsored spouses and partners.

Conditional permanent residence created a barrier for women to leave an abusive spouse and had an overwhelming impact on women and their children, who constantly had the threat of deportation used as a tool used by their abusive male partner to maintain power and control.

Making immigration status conditional on living with a spouse had serious and dangerous implications for newcomer women this news of the removal of the condition will reduce those barriers.

BWSS has opposed conditional permanent residence since the proposal was brought in 2011, because it created a climate where women would be forced to stay in violent or abusive relationships for fear of deportation.

In 2015, BWSS released a report which outlined the risks for women and children, challenging conditional permanent residence and the potential violations of The Charter through the amendment.

The removal of conditional permanent residence comes as a direct result of the efforts of many Women’s organizations and newcomer advocacy groups, the elimination of the condition will increase the safety of women who are already in very vulnerable situations. Women will no longer have to choose between their safety and being deported.

This is a step in the right direction to increasing safety and to strengthen the protection for newcomer women in Canada.