If an applicant’s separated spouse or their children who are legally in the custody of someone else are inadmissible, their admissibility would not render the applicant inadmissible. As separated, spouses can reconcile and custody arrangements for children may change; examination is required in order to safeguard the future right to sponsor them as members of the family class. If these family members are not examined, they cannot be sponsored under the family class at a later date.
Officers will not issue a permanent resident visa to separated spouses, common-law partners or children in the legal custody of someone else, even if they are examined. This is because separated spouses and common-law partners are not members of the family class because children in the custody of someone else are non-accompanying family members.
Satisfactory written evidence of a separation and that a child is in the legal custody or guardianship or another individual (including the other parent) is required. Acceptable documentary proof may include the following:
- formal separation agreement;
- letter from a lawyer indicating that divorce proceedings are underway;
- court order in respect of children identifying the fact of the relationship breakdown;
- documents removing the spouse or common-law partner from insurance policies or will;
- Statutory declaration in the case of countries where legal separation and divorce are not possible, for example, the Philippines. To be satisfied that the relationship has truly broken down, the officer may consider supporting evidence such as:
- Evidence that the separated spouse is living with or has children with another partner;
- income tax returns showing status as separated.