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The following is a summary of issues which have arisen recently which may affect those seeking temporary or permanent relocation to Canada:

New Routine Laboratory Test – HIV

According to a new directive sent by Dr. Gushulak, Director General of Medical Services Branch, Citizenship and Immigration Canada to Designated Medical Practitioners, effective January 15, 2002, HIV testing will be performed on all applicants who are:

– 15 years of age and over,
– children who have received blood or blood products, or have a known HIV positive mother, or
– all potential adoptees.

Also, all immigration medicals, whether it be for temporary or permanent basis, will now include the HIV test.

The directive also states that: “Concern regarding risks to public health or safety will continue to be most important in assessing a migrant’s admissibility to Canada. HIV is not readily transmitted and is usually not considered a significant public health risk to the general public. However, those individuals with HIV who would refuse to practice safe sex, who would willingly conceal from their partners that they are infected, and those who would purposely seek to infect others may be considered a risk to public health and public safety. In reporting the results of the immigration medical examination for HIV positive individuals, it is very important that you provide your opinion regarding the applicant’s understanding of risk-reduction strategies and to report those applicants whose behaviour may present a danger to others.”

Santiago and Caracas Become Full Service :

As of January 1, 2002, the visa offices responsible for immigrant cases originating in Chile, Venezuela, Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao are changing.

For applicants in Chile, new cases are to be submitted directly to the visa office in Santiago, Chile and no longer to the visa office in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Existing immigrant cases where the selection stage decision has not yet been rendered are also being transferred to Santiago. All other immigrant cases in process will be finalized by Buenos Aires. Closed files are not being transferred.

For applicants in Venezuela and the islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao, new cases are to be submitted directly to the visa office in Caracas, Venezuela and no longer to the visa office in Bogota, Colombia. Existing immigrant cases where the selection stage decision has not yet been rendered are also being transferred to Caracas. All other immigrant cases in process will be finalized by Bogota. Closed files are not being transferred.

Until now, the visa offices in Santiago and Caracas have focused on non-immigrant cases. As of January 1, they are offering the full range of visa office services.

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