What is medical inadmissibility?
Anyone applying to visit, study, work, or live permanently in Canada will be assessed on whether they are medically inadmissible. If you, or someone in your immediate family, are deemed medically inadmissible, your immigration application may be refused.
Under s.38(1) of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, foreign nationals are inadmissible on health grounds if their condition is likely to be a danger to public health or safety, or “might reasonably be expected to cause excessive demand on health or social services.”
Thus, there are three reasons that you could be considered medically inadmissible to Canada.
- Danger to public health:
Your immigration application may be refused if your health condition could endanger Canada’s public health. This decision will be made based on your immigration medical exam results. Usually, this applies to those with certain infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis or syphilis. How your disease could affect others in Canada is also taken into account.
- Danger to public safety:
Your immigration application may also be refused if your health condition could endanger public safety. Your risk of sudden incapacity, and unpredictable or violent behaviour will be assessed to determine whether you are medically inadmissible.
- Excessive demand:
If your health condition will cause “excessive demand on health or social services”, your immigration application may be refused.
A condition is considered to cause an excessive demand if the health services you require would negatively affect wait times for services in Canada, or if the anticipated cost on our healthcare system would cost more than the ‘excessive demand’ threshold.
The excessive demand threshold in 2022 is $24,057 per year, or $120,285 CAD over five years.
How to overcome medical inadmissibility?
If the immigration authorities believe that you may be medically inadmissible, you will receive a procedural fairness letter. In this letter, the authorities will outline why you may be inadmissible, and you will have the opportunity to respond.
For example, if the authorities believe that you have met the excessive demand threshold, you may respond by explaining why your healthcare costs do not exceed $24,057 CAD a year.
If the authorities believe that you may have met the excessive demand threshold, you may also be invited to provide a mitigation plan. If it is found that your healthcare costs do meet the excessive demand threshold, you can still apply to be exempt from this rule and remain in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. Additionally, the medical inadmissibility criteria does not apply to refugees, protected persons, and some people being sponsored by their family, such as dependent children, spouses, and common-law partners.
What if I can afford to pay my own healthcare costs?
Unfortunately, even if you can afford to cover your own healthcare costs, you will be considered medically inadmissible if your healthcare costs surpass the excessive demand threshold.
The medical inadmissibility test does not take into consideration any future income or expected contributions of the applicant.
Is medical inadmissibility discrimination?
In 2018, the excessive demand threshold was increased three-fold. According to IRCC, raising this financial threshold resolves the majority of medical inadmissibility cases. However, it does not resolve all of them.
It is possible that the medical inadmissibility clause violates the constitutional right to be free from discrimination based on mental and physical disabilities under s.15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. It may also violate the s.7 Charter right to life, liberty, and security of the person, as liberty includes the power to make important personal life choices.
We can help you
If you think that you may be medically inadmissible, or have received a procedural fairness letter, we can help. At the Law Office of Matthew Jeffery, we have years of expertise helping clients with complicating factors impacting their immigration applications. Please CONTACT US today to see how we can assist you.