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Montoya Family Granted Permanent Residency on Compassionate Grounds

August 15, 2016 - - Equality Rights, Family Supports

York University professor Felipe Montoya and his family will be returning to Canada after their bid for permanent residency was granted on compassionate grounds.

Felipe and his family moved from Costa Rica to Toronto in 2012. In March 2016, they were denied the opportunity to apply for permanent residency by the Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade because son Nico has Down syndrome.

Under Section 38.1 (c) of Canada’s the Refugee and Immigration Protection Act, a foreign national is inadmissible on health grounds if their health condition "might reasonably be expected to cause excessive demand on health or social services."

CACL Executive Vice-President Michael Bach spoke on a panel with Felipe and others earlier this year in order to bring attention to the exclusive legislation which makes persons with disabilities inadmissible to Canada.

Although Felipe and Nico's case garnered significant media attention, the Montoyas moved back to Costa Rica in June following a long appeals process with no decision forthcoming.

Their case took a positive turn on August 5th, when they received a letter indicating they had been granted "relief from inadmissibility" under Section 25.1 (1) of the Refugee and Immigration Protection Act, which allows the Minister to grant permanent resident status or exemption "if it is justified by humanitarian and compassionate considerations, taking into account the best interests of a child directly affected."

Felipe intends to continue to pursue changes to the Refugee and Immigration Protection Act, so that the legislation better reflects Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms and Canadian values.