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08 June 2014

Can A Cancer Survivor Apply For The Federal Skilled Worker Canadian Immigration?

What would you do if you found out at your doctor's office that you have cancer?  Does this make your life miserable or do you still fight for your dreams?

Cancer is one of the worst news that you'll be afraid to hear.  This might be a life threatening illness or a curable one.  Other people seemed to stop pursuing their dreams or career because they found out to have cancer.  They will then think that there is no more purpose in their life and no need to move on with it.

As of the moment, I don't have some serious illness "knock on wood", but someday it might come and it's only because we are human.  There was one podcast that I bumped-in to, it's talking about positive thinking.
It says that once you have a problem, or illness for instance, don't think about that problem but how to solve that problem instead.

Like cancer, if you knew that you have cancer, think of a way on how to cure it.  Don't think of negative thoughts about it, although it will never be totally possible, but at least you have to minimize it.

Now.  Why is cancer connected on moving to canada?

The Experience with Cancer
On 2003, my sister had been diagnosed with stage 2 cancer.  There is a lump on her breast and found cancer cells in it after conducting a biopsy.  So, she undergone breast removal and chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy at that time is, I think, not that hi-tech.  She always stay in bed and her fingernails are all purplish in color.  It looks as if it was beaten by a hammer.

The body hair are all gone so she's always wearing a  scarf on her head or a hat.  She asked someone to custom make her bra padding to compensate the size with the other breast.

I can see the pain and anxiety in her eyes and the worst part is she is my sister and that makes my heart break.

After a series of chemotherapy and with the help of modern medicines, she recovered in good condition less one breast.  She can eat well and was asked by the doctor to visit the hospital at least once a year.

How she moved on?

Convincing Her to Apply for the FSW Even if She Had Cancer
On 2008, Canada had released a new set of Federal Skilled Worker occupation list for applicants that are eligible to apply for immigration.  Since I constantly read news about Canada, which  I do almost everyday, I bumped on this article.

With no second thoughts, I informed my sister that she should apply for the FSW Canada since her occupation was in the list. She was hesitant to apply at first because of her cancer history and also don't want to leave her properties.

Until I found a way to convince her to apply, which is telling her that this application is not for her but for the future of her children.  It might not be for our time but for their time.  I also enlighten her on what are the benefits of this program, the advantages and disadvantages.

We then found out that there were more pros than cons, like for instance the safety situation in Philippines or also the health care system.  It was worse back then during the time of the lady President, especially the corruption scandals and everything.

The reasons I laid on the table made her realize to make a move. But, the problem is she don't know how to make the first step.

How Did She Applied for Her FSW Application?
Since I experienced this Canadian immigration process since 2003, my research on the matter helped me build my knowledge about the procedures.

I gathered the requirements and forms and asked her to gather all their documents to be ready for the application.  The whole process was prepared by me acting on her behalf.

At the Schedule A Background Declaration / item #6 (k), we ticked the box YES and indicated at the section:

"If your answer to any of these questions is YES, provide details below." 

that she had cancer, but had undergone chemotherapy and has fully recovered with an annual visits with her oncologists.

Back then, we are only concern of submitting the forms and documents, not bothering about what Canada has to say about her cancer.

A month after that, we haven't receive any letter from Nova Scotia Canada if they had received her application.  I checked here email and found at the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) acknowledgement letter that it was already received few days ago.

What To Do During the Medical Exam if You Had Cancer?
It was the best time of her life when we received a letter to update her documents and a medical request from the CIC after 6 months of waiting.  This only mean that her background and status including her breast cancer situation has been approved and is good to go by the immigration officer.

She went to the medical exam together with her family. She got a medical certificate from her oncologist as a clearance of her breast cancer and showed it then to the doctor.

By the way, she also had diabetes and high blood pressure but with medicines for her maintenance.  All of these are disclosed to the Canadian accredited doctor.  She undergone the whole standard process of the medical exam.

The Result of Her FSW Application
Then the waiting of FSW had come to a halt when she received the letter of a Passport Request.  At this stage, the sun had shine fully out in the sky with birds singing the lullabies...

They got their immigration visas and flew to Canada.  They are happily staying there, with a fine job, for almost 3 years now and longing for the Canadian Citizenship.

Unless the illness is not critical, which can spread a danger to the Canadian public, and there are proof that the serious illness does not require a great demand on health care in Canada, in my opinion, there is nothing to worry about it.

There's no way to stop us from pursuing our dreams even if we have the critical illness.  You can stop the application until Canada will send you a letter that says "YOU ARE NOT ELIGIBLE TO APPLY".

Update of my Sister's Cancer in Canada
Visit the MM2C Community to see the update of my sister's cancer and how she cope up with it in Canada.  Blog post will be available starting June 3, 2017.

Do you have questions regarding Cancer patients in Canada?
If you're interested more about having cancer inside or outside Canada, I can provide you an information about my sister's experience.  I'll give you insights on how cancer patients is treated in Canada.  Just go to the MM2C Forum above or this link.  You need to register to join.

If you have any questions regarding this post, you can leave a comment below.

For questions not related to this post, leave a comment at the ASK ME.

If you want to know more about my life in Singapore, visit my blog at

How much you need to prepare for the applications, visit EXPENSES.

Check on what are the documents you need to prepare and more info on RESOURCES.


Anonymous said...

There's a 5 year remission for cancer patients. After 5 years of no re-occurrence, she can be considered cancer free and CIC will consider that. But if you are still in 5 year remission, that might be a problem for CIC's approval.

Ben Alagnam said...

Hi, please help us and give the link of the rules, from CIC, to support the 5-year remission for cancer patients. This is for the benefit of those affected.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this very encouraging article. My husband is our principal applicant under FSW Program 2014 and we have received our Medical Request. We plan to have our Medicals in St. Luke's - Taguig and we are so worried because our daughter had cancer and has been in remission since Dec 2014. While we disclosed this in our application, it still scares us that this might be a ground for inadmissibility. We pray to also receive our Permanent Resident Visas despite my daughter's condition. God bless you and your family.

Ben Alagnam said...

Hi, hope everything will turn out well. Be positive. Let us know once you receive your Visa. soon.

Unknown said...

Super article! I myself am in Canada at the moment on a 2 year working visa with my bf. We will be applying for our PR in the next few months. I had cancer before but am 4 years cancer free (thank god). But this is one thing which really worried me. It is so hard to find info on this topic and anything I have heard from people has been very negative and looked like they wont even consider me to stay here. Thanks for the positivity!! :)

Ben Alagnam said...

Never listen to negative people, they will let you down and just leave you behind. Surround yourself with optimists.

Unknown said...

Hi I am from India and was desperately looking for some knowledge on this topic....glad u shared and it motivated me

Ben Alagnam said...

Hi, if you're interested more about having cancer inside or outside Canada, I can provide you an information about my sister's experience. I'll give you insights on how cancer patients is treated in Canada. Just go to the MM2C Forum above. You need to register to join.

Unknown said...

I work part time. My mother is alone in India, She had Multiple Myeloma cancer for many ears and after 8 years she had a relapse. She is suffering there alone. My hands are tied. I weep for her all the time. I don't know what to do and how to bring her here and show her to good doctors? I can manage the expenses but since I do not have a full time job I cannot sponsor her. I have applied to so many jobs and recruiters but in vain. I feel miserable all the time.

Unknown said...

My wife suffering from Brest cancer from last two years. Left breast removed. At starting Some sign of lever cancer also. But Now lever sign totally clear.according your experience it's May be medical refusel or not?

cognizant being said...


cognizant being said...

Hi, Mine is 2 years

I have applied for it

FYI it was stage 1 colon cancer .. what do you suggest

cognizant being said...

Hi, Whats your status ?
Have you applied for the PR

if yes

whats the status ?

Ben Alagnam said...

Hi, how's everything?

Ben Alagnam said...

If the doctor gives her a clearance, so Yes.

Ben Alagnam said...

Ask your Oncologist if he/she can provide you a clearance. If he/she does, go ahead with your application.

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing your story, I have been one of the many who stopped pursuing our dreams. I'm on my 4th yr of remission and thanks to this article, my hopes are high to be in Canada next yr.

Ben Alagnam said...

You can do it!!! Hope to meet you here in Toronto!

Con said...

Hi! May I just say how you've encouraged us with your article. I have intentions of studying in Canada and migrate with my family, however, my husband was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2018. It scares us that our dreams for our family to start fresh in canada is over. I'm glad to have stumbled upon your blog. I hope that you and your sister along with your families are well. God bless!

Ben Alagnam said...

Hi Con, hope that everything is well with you and family. Unfortunately, my sister passed away last year.

Keep pushing with your application. If you have questions about Canada, let me know.

Ben Alagnam - MeMovingToCanada