Immigration / Refugee Law

Canadian immigration law applies to people who want to visit Canada, study in Canada, work in Canada, and live in Canada. People living with HIV may have questions or concerns about Canadian immigration law. Immigration law is complex and is a very specialized area of law.

HALCO provides a variety of free immigration law services for people with HIV in Ontario, as well as public legal education materials and public legal education workshops . For more information about other resources and Getting legal help, please scroll down.

Our HALCO news Summer 2019 newsletter includes information about important changes to refugee and immigration law (starting on page 12):

For information about positive changes to the excessive demand medical inadmissibility regime (2018June), please see:

There were some significant changes to Canada’s Immigration and Citizenship laws in 2017.  Our Immigration and Citizenship Law Updates info sheet provides more information (

Immigration Law Resources

Our website What’s New posts and HALCO news newsletters often include articles about immigration and refugee law.  You can find our newsletters here:

The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network produces a variety of publications about HIV and Canada’s immigration laws that are available on the Legal Network’s website:

Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) produces public legal education pamphlets and fact sheets about Canada’s immigration and refugee law available on-line on the CLEO website:

The Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) website also has information about Canadian immigration law:

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is the Government of Canada department that is responsible for citizenship, immigration and refugee law in Canada.  The IRCC website includes citizenship, immigration and refugee information:

Canadian Citizenship

There were some significant changes to Canada’s Immigration and Citizenship laws in 2017.  Our Immigration and Citizenship Law Updates info sheet provides more information (

If you are living with HIV in Ontario and you think you are eligible for citizenship, please contact us for advice about applying for citizenship.

For more information about citizenship, you can visit the Government of Canada’s Citizenship website:

Refugees: Important Information about Applying for Canadian Citizenship

It is important to get legal advice before you apply for Canadian citizenship if you were accepted as a refugee in Canada and:

  • you have been back to the country that was the basis of your refugee claim or you have applied for a passport from that country,
  • you were accepted as refugee by another country, or
  • you misrepresented or did not disclose significant facts that were relevant to your refugee claim in Canada.

If you were accepted as a refugee in Canada, you should not travel to your country or apply for a passport from your country until you get legal advice.

Getting legal help

The law can be very complicated so if you have a question or problem, we recommend that you get legal advice about your situation:

The Law Society Referral Service (LSRS) of the Law Society of  Ontario is an on-line service that provides a referral to a lawyer or paralegal for an in-person or phone consultation of up to 30 minutes at no charge: The LSRS crisis telephone for people in custody, in crisis, in a shelter or in a remote community without internet access is 416-947-5255 or toll-free 1-855-947-5255, Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm. For more information please see the Law Society Referral Service information on the Law Society of Ontario website:  The Law Society of  Ontario was formerly the Law Society of Upper Canada.