Medical conditions can make a person medically unfit to enter Canada and live permanently in Canada. Until 1 June 2018, in order to improve the level of value of a disease perceived as an unreasonable demand in the Canadian health care system, the IRCC made major changes to the medical inadmissibility laws in Canada. As a result, Canada can no longer be considered medically inadmissible to many individuals and families, especially those with disabilities.
About Medical inadmissibility
The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act sets out that a foreign national, which is anyone who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, can be found to be medically inadmissible on 1 of 3 separate grounds:
- Danger to public health;
- Danger to public safety; or
- Excessive demand on health or social services.
1. Danger to public health
The government may refuse your application if they believe your health condition will endanger Canada’s public health. This decision is based on the results of your immigration medical exam.
The Canada authority consider:
- your immigration medical exam results, including
- laboratory test results by third party physicians that they designate
- any other specialist reports that our medical officers request
- whether you may have certain infectious diseases, such as active tuberculosis or active syphilis, or whether you’ve been in close contact with others with an infectious disease
- how your disease could affect other people living in Canada
2. Danger to public safety
The authority may refuse your application if they believe that your health condition will endanger public safety. This decision is based on the results of your immigration medical exam.
The government will consider your risk of:
- sudden incapacity (loss of physical and mental abilities)
- unpredictable or violent behavior
3. Excessive demand on health or social services
If the government believes your health condition will cause excessive demand for health or social services, it can deny your request. The decision is based on the results of your medical examination on immigration.
Your condition is considered to cause excessive demand if:
- the health or social services needed to treat your health condition would negatively affect wait times for services in Canada, or
- the services needed to treat and manage your health condition would likely cost more than the excessive demand cost threshold
The excessive demand cost threshold
“Excessive demand” is considered to be any condition where certain financial demands will be placed on health or social service costs (and social service includes home care, special education services, rehabilitation services, devices, and so forth paid by a government agency). The dollar amount determined to place excessive demand on health or services changes annually.
The new policy increases the amount of the price limit every year. Today, the new level of prices of health and social care is three times the national average. This is updated quarterly, based on the latest average in Canada. Until 2019 cost threshold (under the temporary public policy), it is $102,585 over 5 years (or $20,517 per year)
Consequently, many previously unacceptably inadmissible applicants, such as those with conditions requiring publicly funded prescription drugs, are now eligible in Canada since their cost of medication typically does not exceed the new cost limit.
The Government of Canada is reviewing the rules on medical inadmissibility. The Standing Committee of Citizenship and Immigration had previously recommended that the whole system be scrapped. The government has agreed that the measures would finally be abolished, with the provinces and territories.
If your medical care exceeds the amount of the excessive annual demand, the program has an excessive demand. Visa officers will use doctor reports to assess if increased demand for Canadian health or social services is triggered by your illness.
Medical inadmissibility rules for excessive demand reasons don’t apply to:
- refugees and their dependents
- protected persons
- certain people being sponsored by their family, such as dependent children, spouses, and common-law partners
When you receive a procedural fairness letter
The government will send you a letter explaining the reason if they think you are clinically inappropriate. This letter is referred to as a document of procedural fairness. Once you make a final decision on your application, you will receive this letter. You will have the chance to send responses.
You are allowed to get advice or representation from a professional to help you respond to the procedural fairness letter, but it’s not required.
For example, you may give us information and evidence on:
- Your health condition or the medical diagnosis
- For example, if you’ve received treatment to cure or improve your health condition
- The kind of medication and services that you need
- For example, if your doctor has changed your medication
- The cost of medications or services that you need
- For example, if your doctor has switched your medication to a lower-cost equivalent
All additional information must be sent within 90 days from the date of the letter. If you can’t respond by that date, you must contact the government to request an extension. The contact information is in the letter they sent you. Send all additional information or your request for an extension to that address.
If the government of Canada believes your health condition might cause excessive demand on Canada’s health or social services, they may invite you to send us a mitigation plan. You’ll only be invited to do this if it applies to your specific situation. Learn how to prepare a mitigation plan for excessive demand.
For immigration information
If you believe that you satisfy the requirement through a medical examination, you can move to the next step in order to finish your application. Besides, you can find out more about the information which is related to Canada immigration via Immilist if you don’t understand clearly the criteria of the program that you intend to submit.
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