Can you immigrate to Canada if you are HIV-positive?

Many people are under the assumption that having a chronic illness like HIV means they cannot immigrate to Canada. But that’s not necessarily true. There are several ways someone who is HIV-positive can immigrate to Canada. HIV Positive Immigration Canada

1. Immigration to Canada with HIV depends on your illness

Canada’s policies on someone being inadmissible to Canada on health grounds means they cannot come to Canada if their health condition:

  • Is likely to be a danger to public health
  • Is likely to be a danger to public safety
  • Might reasonably be expected to cause excessive demand on health or social services

People who are HIV-positive rarely fall under the first two criteria – they only would be considered dangerous if they engaged in high-risk behaviour or didn’t cooperate with health authorities.

The third criteria is the one that has the possibility of affecting HIV positive immigrants the most. Excessive demand means that someone’s medical costs would be more than $15,000 over the next 5 years. Not all people with HIV meet this criteria, as all cases are different. If you don’t create an excessive demand on health services or social services in Canada, you should expect to have to prove it.

2. Family Class Immigration

A Canadian Citizen may sponsor family members who are HIV-positive if they are a spouse, common-law partner or child. Parents and grandparents are not exempt from medical inadmissibility due to excessive demand.

3. Appeals

Many Canadian immigration streams require medical exams, including the economic class (skilled workers, self-employed persons, investors and entrepreneurs). Many other streams are not exempt from medical inadmissibility as well, including parents and grandparents as mentioned above. However, if a person is denied because of medical inadmissibility they have the right to appeal in several different ways:

The sponsor (in the case of Family Class Immigration) can appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division of the IRB

The applicant can appeal to Federal Court.

The applicant can apply for a Temporary Resident Permit.

Every immigration situation is different, and the same can be said for people who are HIV-positive. If you’re unsure where you fit in, speak to a qualified immigration lawyer about your options.

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.

Tags: HIV Positive Immigration Immigration Appeals Spousal Sponsorship HIV Temporary Resident Permit

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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