Felipe Montoya and Alejandra García-Prieto are back in Costa Rica with their family after Immigration Canada declared “inadmissible” their 13 year-old son Nicholas, because he has Down Syndrome.

Prof. Felipe Montoya of York University, seen here with his teenage son Nico, called immigration rules that barred his family from Canada medieval and barbaric. (Felipe Montoya/ Facebook) CBC news.
Prof. Felipe Montoya of York University, seen here with his teenage son Nico, called immigration rules that barred his family from Canada medieval and barbaric. (Felipe Montoya/ Facebook) CBC news.

The “Nico” case began last March, when Felipe uploaded a video on YouTube to report that Canada, a country they have lived in for more than three years, denied them residency on the grounds the care required by Nico would generate “high costs”  to Canadian health or social services, exceeding the average Canadian per capita cost.

Despite the help of a Canadian woman, who preferred to remain anonymous, launching a campaign on Change.org, to gather signatures to ask the Canadian government to review the Immigration and Refugee Protection.

The campaign gathered 1,000 signatures, Montoya told La Nacion in an interview.

Also, a group of Canadian citizens formed a committee to support the Montoya-Garcia family and follow through on the family’s legal issue with the government.

Our report of last March: Canada Refuses Costa Rican Family Residency Because Son Has Down Syndrome

Felipe Montoya, who as  a temporary foreign worker taught environmental studies at York University (in Toronto), said that after more than three of living in Canada and being refused residency, they had to make the decision to return to their native Costa Rica. Montoya will now be working as a professor at the Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR).

The family hopes their return to Costa Rica is temporary, “perhaps two or three years”, said Felipe, while the case continues with the Canadian government.

The family will live in Cuidad Colon, prior to leaving Costa Rica they had lived in nearby Santa Ana. Felipe added that, in the move, they had to leave a lot behind. Now are waiting for what they could ship to arrive, for their settlement back in Costa Rica.

“I went to Ottawa with a lawyer friend, we met with the director of case processing and the policy director of immigration. They said they were interested in moving forward with the policy changes,” said Montoya.

But that could take time. Montoya explained that one of the options is a change in the law, the other is a change in the processing regulations for permanent residency applications; and yet another option is change int he interpretation of the regulations.

Montoya said that Immigration Canada estimated the cost of care for Nicolas was about $25,000 a year and that the government can only spend $3,600 a year in the case of people with health problems.

Although now in Costa Rica, Montoya said he will take up the issue to as far as he can with the objective of setting a precedent and that his situation will not be lived by others.

Source La Nacion

Editor’s note: a search of Canadian online media has no reports, other than the initial reports in March/April of this family’s ordeal with the Canadian government.


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