Can You Immigrate to Canada if You’re HIV Positive?


Only a few decades ago, little was understood about HIV and the threat it posed to society. Today, we know much more about the virus and how someone who is a HIV positive can be treated and have a very high quality of life.

Immigrating to Canada & Being HIV Positive

But HIV is still an illness, and it can pose a big challenge if you are HIV positive and wish to immigrate to Canada. People can be considered medically inadmissible to Canada if they have an illness that could be considered a danger to public health and safety, and HIV is sometimes seen as falling under this category. In addition, people are also considered medically inadmissible to Canada if their illness would put a significant demand on Canadian health or social services and this is the biggest reason why people with HIV are usually inadmissible to Canada.

How will Immigration find out I am HIV positive?

Immigrants to Canada undergo medical examinations if they are over 15 years old. However, someone who is under 15 with an HIV positive parent or who has received blood could still be tested for HIV. Immigrants are also asked on immigration applications whether they have an illness, and if you were to lie and say you did not have an illness while having HIV, you could be removed from Canada and not allowed to return.

How can I immigrate to Canada with HIV?

But being medically inadmissible to Canada does not mean you are without options. You may only be inadmissible to Canada under certain categories, such as the Skilled Worker Program.

If you are the spouse or family member of someone who is coming to Canada and who will sponsor you, you may be able to become a permanent resident of Canada despite your illness. You may also be able to become a temporary resident or stay in Canada under humanitarian and compassionate grounds depending on your situation. In addition, all HIV cases are different and your medical needs may not be anywhere near what Canada considers “excessive” demand.

Speak with a licensed immigration lawyer as soon as you can to discuss your immigration options with HIV.

Michael Niren

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 Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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