Can a Person Living with HIV Immigrate to Canada?

Are you living with HIV Aids or with a chronic disease and wishing to immigrate to Canada? Do you have a Canadian Citizen as your spouse or as your sibling or relative and looking at the possibilities of migrating to Canada but needed to find out whether that can be possible?

Well, you can still migrate to Canada, depending on the level or nature of the illness. Many people in the past with similar illnesses have immigrated to Canada, and what makes you think you can’t also achieve the same dream.

When migrating to Canada, you will have to go through Canada Immigration medical exam. This examination can consider whether a person can be deemed to be clinically admissible to Canada. In case, a person is having some serious medical or health condition that may require excessive demand on public health’s service, they might be denied entry to Canada.

So, the question of whether a person living with HIV can migrate successfully to Canada typically depends on the type of immigration application that person put in for.

Canada Immigration Medical Inadmissibility Due To Positive HIV Status

In Canada’s immigration process, the medical examination is mainly to confirm whether you are medically admissible or inadmissible to immigrate to Canada. It also serves as evidence if you pose any threat to Canada’s public health and safety, or if you have any health condition that is likely to debilitate Canada’s health care system.

Your application for Canada’s immigration might be refused if your current health status seems dangerous to Canada’s public health and safety. Additionally, medical inadmissibility also occurs when your health condition can result in exuberant demand in Canada’s health or social services.

However, foreign nationals who are aged above 15 years and want to apply for Canada’s immigration are mandated to undergo a medical examination. HIV-positive foreign nationals in the family and dependant refugee classes are not always regarded as medically inadmissible because of the extremely high demand on Canada’s health care system.

Issuance of automatic partner notification policy to the sponsored family class applicants who are HIV-positive

The spouse of the infected person must be notified of the possible adverse effects that are posed to their health due to their partner’s health status. Automatic partner notification involves creating an opportunity of 60 days to HIV-positive foreign nationals so as to enable them to open up their current health status to their spouse. If the foreign national can’t do this, he/she needs to withdraw their application.

The 60 days countdown begins right from the date when you were given the information to act on your own free will. After 60 days, formal notification will be sent to the spouse of the HIV-positive individual. Upon the notification, the processing will be initiated

NOTE: Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) are dedicated to their country’s public health and safety. Disclosing your current health condition to your spouse will aid their dedication.

Steps For HIV Immigration To Canada

Here are the steps involved for HIV-positive applicants who intend to immigrate to Canada.

  1. Post-test counseling by a panel physician
  2. Identification of the HIV-positive foreign national
  3. In-person interview with a visa or immigration officer
  4. Processes after the in-person interview
  5. Outcomes after 60 days of the interview
  6. Formal notification to the spouse

1. Post-test counseling by a panel physician

A panel physician is placed in charge of the HIV-positive foreign national who seeks Canada’s immigration. The panel physician has to provide post-test counseling to the individual, enlighten them on the psychological, social, and medical implications of their health condition. Moreover, they will ensure that the acknowledgment of the post-test counseling form is duly signed by the foreign national.

2. Identification of the HIV-positive foreign national

The responsible medical officer will have to send a written notification to the responsible immigration program manager when an exempted foreign national has a health condition that is dangerous to Canada’s public health and safety.

However, foreign nationals who are implementing family class procedures and are fully cognizant of their health status do not need a partner notification process till a file has been created for them at the visa office. This means that such a foreign national has undergone every relevant counseling.

3. In-person interview with a visa or immigration officer

The foreign national will be physically interviewed by a visa or immigration officer. The officer won’t talk about the issue of partner notification with a foreign national who does not possess the acknowledgment of HIV post-test counseling form.

The foreign national must also have a vast knowledge of their health status. Hence, if the visa or immigration officer is able to discover that you lack enough knowledge of your health condition, the interview may be suspended. The officer will then ask the foreign national to return to the panel physician for more counseling. He/she will also have to get a new acknowledgment of the HIV post-test counseling form.

After the foreign national must have acquired enough knowledge on their health condition, the visa or immigration officer will move ahead to explain the automatic partner notification policy.

4. Processes after the in-person interview

If the foreign national does not append his/her signature on the acknowledgment of the automatic partner notification policy, the processing won’t stop. Instead, it will be noted on the file that the foreign national was cognizant of the policy but decided not to sign the policy. Thus, it will be flagged to Litigation Management BCL at NHQ.

In a situation where the applicant doesn’t want their health status to be disclosed, the immigration program manager will be counseled by the visa or immigration officers. They will be advised on how to handle HIV-positive foreign nationals with self-interests.

5. Outcomes after 60 days of the interview

Here is the aftermath after 60 days of the interview

  • If the foreign national withdraws the application, the visa or immigration officer will process the withdrawal based on normal processes.
  • If the application was withdrawn by the sponsor who is based in Canada, the visa or immigration officer will refuse the application based on standard processes. Prior to this, the visa or immigration officer must be informed by the Case Processing Centre: Mississauga, Ontario.
  • In a situation where the foreign national and the sponsor did not withdraw the application, the foreign national’s application will be further processed.

6. Formal notification to the spouse

If the foreign national or sponsor did not withdraw the application, the visa or immigration officer needs to prepare and send the partner notification letter to the spouse in Canada

How A Person Living With HIV Can Immigrate To Canada?

These are the several ways someone living with HIV can immigrate to Canada.

Applying for Permanent Residency

Applicants living with HIV who are applying for permanent residency may be qualified on grounds of having a Canadian citizen or permanent resident as spouse or siblings (relatives).

But, applicants above the age of 15 years, will be required to pass through a Canada Immigration medical exam. If the examination turns out to be positive, this can make permanent immigration difficult to get. An HIV patient’s application for Canada PR can get refused on two conditions;

  • If the health condition of that person is considered a danger to public health.
  • If it is considered to be a danger to public safety
  • If the patient’s health might require excessive demand for Canada’s health or social services.

But, the excessive demand may not be considered if the applicant applies as a refuge or is being sponsored by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

Applying for Temporary Residence

Applicants with HIV who apply for a temporary resident visa are usually considered and are given a visa. Usually, most applicants staying in Canada for a short period of about six months are not required to go through the Canada Immigration medical exam.

Basically, temporary residents are not fit for the provincial healthcare program. They won’t place excessive demand on health services.

Asylum Application

Refugees or Asylum seekers must go through Canada’s Immigration medical exam but are exempted from inadmissibility grounds.

Asylum applicants only need to prove that they meet the protection criteria, and submitting permanent residency becomes easy. They can also enjoy free public health and social services in Canada.

Hope we are able to clear some of your questions about persons living with HIV and Canadian immigration? You can drop some more inquiries with us and expect answers as soon as possible.


FAQ About Can a Person Living with HIV Immigrate to Canada?

Q. What causes Canadian immigration inadmissibility for HIV-positive applicants?

Ans. A foreign national’s application for Canada’s immigration can be regarded as medically inadmissible due to an applicant being infected with highly contagious diseases like HIV, the person’s application may be considered as medically inadmissible. Secondly, A HIV-positive applicant of Canada’s immigration is likely to cause an extravagant demand on her healthcare systems and social services.

Q. What is required to do a medical examination for Canadian immigration?

Ans. While preparing for your medical examination, you need to take recognized evidence of identity with you. For this purpose, you can make use of your passport or any kind of government-issued identification. You might also need to provide information on your health, including the names of your medications (if you are currently treating an illness).