Immigration Matter


              Can a finding of medical inadmissibility be appealed?

Canada's Immigration and Refugee Protection Act allows for some decisions to be appealed. Appeals can be complicated processes. Specific advice should be obtained in relation to specific cases. Applicants have the right to ask for (and receive) a written explanation of why they were denied a visa and/or declared medically inadmissible.
If people need advice or assistance with respect to Canada's immigration policies, where can they go?
Depending on your situation, you may need to talk to a lawyer.
If you are in Canada, contact an immigrant- and refugee-serving organization or an AIDS service organization in your area and ask them (a) if they have anyone who is knowledgeable about immigration issues; or (b) if they can refer you to a lawyer who specializes in immigration issues. You may have to pay for the services of the lawyer unless you are eligible for legal aid. In Ontario, contact the HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic (Ontario), 65 Wellesley Street East, Suite 400, Toronto (Ontario) M4Y 1G7, Tel: +1-416-340-7790 (toll free +1-888-705-8889 from within Ontario), Fax: +1-416-340-7248, Email:, Website: In British Columbia, contact the B.C. Persons With AIDS Society, 2nd Floor, 1107 Seymour Street, Vancouver (B.C.) V6B 5S8, Tel: +1-604-892-2200 (toll free +1-800-994-2437 from within B.C.), Fax: +1-604-893-2251, Email:, Website:
** Getting Legal Advice: Know Whom You Are Dealing With: This Q&A Sheet contains general information. It is not a substitute for getting legal advice about your particular situation. Both lawyers and consultants (also known as agents) provide advice about immigration and refugee matters. All lawyers in Canada are regulated and insured, and have professional responsibilities to their clients. Immigration consultants may or may not be regulated or insured, or have any professional obligations to their clients. Protect yourself. Make sure you know whom you are getting advice from.**
If you are outside Canada and can afford to pay a lawyer, you may be able to identify and contact a Canadian lawyer who specializes in immigration cases and who regularly represents people outside Canada. You can also contact the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, 417, rue Saint-Pierre, suite 408, Montréal (Québec) Canada H2Y 2M4, Tel: +1-514-397-6828, Fax: +1-514-397-8570, Email:, Website: Please note that the Legal Network cannot provide legal advice, but will attempt to provide referrals to knowledgeable lawyers. Organizations that have questions about Canada's immigration policies and practices can contact the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR), 6839 rue Drolet, bureau 302, Montréal (Québec) Canada H2S 2T1, Tel: +1-514-277-7223, Fax: +1-514-277-1447, Email:, Website: Please note that the CCR is not able to respond to enquiries from individuals.
Additional reading

A Klein. HIV/AIDS and Immigration: Final Report. Montréal: Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, 2001.
B Hoffmaster and T Schrecker. An Ethical Analysis of the Mandatory Exclusion of Immigrants Who Test HIV-Positive. Montréal: Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, 2000.
The first publication (listed above) describes and evaluates Canada's policies with respect to immigration and HIV/AIDS and presents a series of recommendations. Both publications (listed above) oppose mandatory HIV antibody testing. Although both reports were written before the new Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and its Regulations came into effect, their analysis of the issues remains valid. Both publications are Available on the Network's website via
HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic (Ontario). Immigration and HIV: What You Need to Know. iHIV & AIDS Legal Clinic (Ontario).Immigration and HIV:
A Brief Guide for Frontline Workers. The titles shown above are the tentative titles of two publications being prepared by HALCO, in conjunction with the Committee for Accessible AIDS Treatment (in Toronto, Ontario). The first publication targets persons living with HIV/AIDS who are considering applying for permanent residence or refugee status in Canada. Both publications contain some information that is specific to Ontario. The publications were due to be released in April 2003, and will be available on the HALCO website via
The website of Citizenship and Immigration Canada provides guidance for people who want to visit Canada, to study or work temporarily in Canada, or to apply for permanent residence in Canada. It also contains copies of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.
This section of the website of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network provides a comprehensive analysis of the issues related to immigration and HIV/AIDS.
The Canadian Council for Refugees is an organization committed to the rights and protection of refugees in Canada and around the world and to the settlement of refugees and immigrants in Canada.
This Q&A sheet was written by David Garmaise. The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network wishes to thank the HIV & AIDS Legal Clinic (Ontario) [HALCO] for permission to use some of the information contained in a draft of its publication tentatively entitled Immigration and HIV: What You Need to Know. See the "Additional Reading" box for details of this publication.
Reproduction of this Q&A is encouraged, but copies may not be sold, and the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network must be cited as the source of this information. Ce feuillet est également disponible en français.
Funding for this project was provided by Health Canada under the Canadian Strategy on HIV/AIDS. The opinions expressed in this document are those of its author and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Minister of health or the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network.
© Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network 2003