Ottawa Doctoral Student Gets Second Chance At Permanent Residency

A a doctoral student studying at the University of Ottawa who came to Canada from Iran seven years ago. She applied for permanent residency in 2005, and waited a very long six years only to find out that her application for permanent residency was denied. Why? In April 2009, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and the illness resulted in the denial of her application.

It goes without saying that cancer is a terrible disease, and the government considers it to have the potential to create an excessive demand on health services, which is why many permanent resident applications are denied every year.

Long processing times affect permanent residency application

Canadian Working VisasWhat is especially upsetting about this case is that the student had passed her medical exam back in 2007, as is the requirement for a permanent residency application. But the very long delay in the processing of her application necessitated a second exam, which was scheduled two weeks after she got her breast cancer diagnosis.

It took 16 more months for her to learn that she was being denied for permanent residency, and had to leave Canada upon the expiry of her student visa – even though she offered to sign an agreement to cover all of her future medical costs.

Her skills and education would normally have Canada begging her to make the country her home, but luckily she used her own education and research to determine which course of treatment would be best for her situation (undergoing hormone therapy treatment and radiation instead of chemotherapy or surgery) and is now cancer-free.

All foreign students in Canada are required to have private health insurance, which is what covered her treatments. Because she is now cancer free, she may re-apply for permanent residency and start the process again – and, she may find success with the Canadian Experience Class expansion that allows foreign students to become permanent residents.

Check out more of her story here.


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: Canadian Experience Class Foreign Student medical exams permanent residency

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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