Same Sex Immigration: HIV-Positive couple Appeal Refusal for Canadian Permanent Residence

Same Sex Marriage

HIV-Positive Immigration to Canada

Same sex couple Ricardo Companioni and Andrew Grover have been living in the city of Toronto for the past three years. The couple is HIV-positive, but both men are in decent health and neither of them has been hospitalized due to their condition. Despite this, their bid for Canadian permanent residence has been denied by the government.

The Government of Canada does not have a specific policy of denying permanent residence to those with HIV or AIDS, but it does deny status for immigrants who may place an excessive burden on social or public services like healthcare.

We recently reported on was the case of the Barlagne family, who were told by immigration recruiters in their home country of France that Canada would be the perfect country for them to start a new life and open a business. They were also told that their daughter with cerebral palsy would be welcomed. While the Barlagne family has maintained they have plenty of money to pay for their daughter’s medical costs and that they won’t burden any social or health services, they’re facing deportation because of her condition.

Canada seems to be the perfect place to live for Grocer and Companioni, with its complete legalization and acceptance of gay marriage. Companioni and Grover have also shown, like the Barlagne family, that they have the means to pay for their own prescription costs, which would total about $33,500 annually. The issue the Canadian Government takes however, is that the couple would still be eligible for the programs available to Ontario residents to lower prescription costs, giving Citizenship and Immigration Canada reason enough to prove to couple would excessively burden Canadian health care.

The couple disagrees and has said that they were asked by Citizenship and Immigration Canada to sign a letter that essentially promised they would not to sign up for any such thing or use any social services, but they were still denied.

Hiring an immigration lawyer may stop HIV-positive couple from being deported

The couple has appealed the decision after being persuaded by their lawyer, and are now able to have a completely different immigration officer assigned to their case for review. The lawyer, who told the National Post last week that he is sure they will have Canadian status eventually, has notably been the difference between deportation and getting a fair review of their case.

Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.

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About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the American Bar Association. He is frequently called upon to appear in the media to discuss Canadian and US immigration issues effecting North Americans. He has been interviewed by Canada AM, CTV, Canada News Net, the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star and has given lectures on immigration topics overseas.

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