Canadian divorce while in the US? Etc.

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InLoveWithACanuckNew Member
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Joined: 2 May 2009

Canadian divorce while in the US? Etc.

Post Sat May 02, 2009 3:41 am

Hello I am in need of some info. Had a Canadian friend visit me at the end of January/end of February, and, that crazy thing people like to call love seemed to happen. We're planning on looking into marriage so that she can become a permanent US citizen...

But, there's a problem that we're worried about. She is currently still married, they both reside in British Columbia with his parents, but are separated... She currently has no passport, and it seems that Canadian passports are a bit difficult to obtain unless you know others with passports that aren't related to you. Which she does not at the time...

So we're worried that if she returns to Canada to get divorced, she won't have a guaranteed way back any time soon, or possibly at all depending on how US boarder workers are feeling when she attempts to return.

So with that I must ask if anyone is aware if it's possible for her to get divorced while staying in the US? Being here since February, how risky is it that she stays the duration it takes for the divorce to be settled? Will it hurt our chances to get her residency via marriage? Are we worrying too much about her ability to return to the US if she has to leave?

All help will be greatly appreciated. We are ridiculously in love, and a bit worried that we might end up being separated from each other for an extended period. Thanks for your time.

Re: Canadian divorce while in the US? Etc.

Post Sat May 02, 2009 5:22 am

It's really not so difficult to get a Canadian passport at all. And she MUST have a passport by June 1st of this year, otherwise she's stuck, no matter which side of the border she's on! Passports become mandatory for even land border crossings on June 1st.

She has to file for divorce in BC. And she may not even be able to do that yet, if she and her husband are still co-habitating, which it sounds like they are. Unfortunately, AFAIK, there is no such thing really as a quicky divorce in Canada, and one must first file for separation and must live separate for one year, before divorce can be filed. Unless her husband wants to file and put on the document that she has committed adultery, which I'm guessing is an option, considering her stay with you recently. But HE would have to file based on adultery, she can't, unless he cheated first, and she has proof of that.

Check this site out, it may be helpful

For her to get a passport, she will need to return to Canada and get 2 people to sign as "guarantor". Family and/or someone living at the same address CAN be guarantor now, they've changed the rules for that in the last year or so. I find it difficult to believe that she wouldn't know ANYONE who has a passport! How about her doctor? Co-workers, boss, banker, school friends...???

It should only take a couple of weeks for her to get her passport, but no less than a year for the divorce I'm afraid.

Once the divorce is final, there's no quick way to immigration either I'm afraid. It'll be another year or so after that before she can move to the US. You'll have to endure the petition and application process. For marriage based immigration to the US info see

If you each get passports though, you can each visit the other for short periods (no more than 6 months each per year). You will need a passport as well, starting June 1, otherwise the US won't let you back in to your own country if you leave before that and don't have one!
StevenCanuckAbroad VIP
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Location: Calgary

Re: Canadian divorce while in the US? Etc.

Post Tue May 05, 2009 10:21 am

From the sounds of it it's unlikely the divorce will be final before her visitor status runs out, so it looks like she would have to leave and get an immigrant visa.
jodanickCanuckAbroad Regular
Posts: 49
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Joined: 28 May 2009

Re: Canadian divorce while in the US? Etc.

Post Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:10 pm

I am a Canadian Citizen and I am on working visa in US and want to file a divorce in US is it possible? we've been separated since 2004. or I should do that in Canada, thanks

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