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With almost 30 years’ experience practicing immigration and refugee law, Michael is certified by the Law Society of Ontario as a Specialist in Citizenship and Immigration Law (Immigration and Refugee Protection). Michael worked with EGALE Canada and the Canadian government to extend the family class to same-sex couples under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and has appeared as a witness before Parliament on issues such involving LGBTQ immigration, sponsorships, and medical inadmissibility.
The breadth of Michael's expertise covers the entire spectrum of immigration and refugee law, with a focus on matters related to same sex relationships, including sponsorships based on same-sex relationships, HIV and medical inadmissibility, and Express Entry applications by people seeking to obtain Canadian permanent residence for them and their same sex partners. He has been adjunct professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto since 2003, and adjunct professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy since 2017. He was awarded the inaugural Teaching Innovation Award from the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy in 2018.
Michael is co-author of the legal text Canadian Family and Immigration Law: Intersections, Developments and Conflicts (Carswell) as well as the immigration chapter in LGBTQ2+ Law: Practice Issues and Analysis (Emond).
Michael was an executive member of the Ontario Bar Association's Citizenship and Immigration Section from 2006 to 2008 and served as Litigation Coordinator for the Canadian Bar Association’s Immigration Section for three years.
Committed to volunteerism, Michael is Founding Chair of Rainbow Railroad and former Chair of the Board of the AIDS Committee of Toronto. In recognition of his volunteer work, Michael was admitted to the Ontario AIDS Network’s Honour Roll and is a recipient of Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto’s Community Service Award.
In the News
Video - "Making citizenship more inclusive" - Watch Michael Battista's interview with CTV News on recent changes to the Canadian citizenship process for children born abroad here.
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