I am applying for Canadian permanent residency (PR). I am married but my husband and I are separated for quite some time now. However, we are not divorced because in our culture divorce has a lot of stigma attached to it (I know it sounds stupid but that's how it is).

Firstly, in the options in the application form, there is single, married, legally separated, and divorced. I am unable to understand what 'legally separated' means or if I want to go with this option, what would I need?

Secondly, can I just choose 'single' because if I choose 'married', I would need to provide documents of my husband too which I don't think he'll agree with. Thank you.

1 Answer 1


"Legally separated" means that you're officially separated. It is intended for situations when a legal divorce is undesirable. For example, if the couple's religion prohibits divorce, or if there's some need to remain statutory married, but untangle the dependency (insurance, immigration, etc).

In most countries, to be "legally separated" you need a court order declaring you as such, and it is usually the same process as a full divorce, with the only exception that in the end of it you stay married (by law). If you're already in Canada, at least according to Wikipedia, you may be able to get that status with a voluntary written agreement with your husband.

In your situation, you should probably choose "married". I'd suggest having a consultation with an immigration attorney about the complexities of your situation.

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