Ottawa Doctoral Student Gets Second Chance At Permanent Residency

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.

Permanent Residence in CanadaIt 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

What 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.


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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