Mr. Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s Immigration Minister, has recently announced that the current regulations with regards to medical inadmissibility for migrants to Canada do not abide by Canadian values and thus need to be reformed. Immigration Canada is very particular with who they allow into the country. If a foreign national is deemed to be medically inadmissible to Canada, then they will be denied entry. The medical inadmissibility can be due to a number of different reasons. Therefore, in this article, I will explain the new changes to medical inadmissibility regulations in Canada and how to overcome medical inadmissibility.
Canada’s Immigration Minister, Ahmed Hussen, had a meeting with Parliament’s Standing Committee on Immigration on November 22, 2017, to discuss and review medical inadmissibility rules for immigrants to Canada. He felt as though this was long overdue and very much necessary. Currently, Canadian Immigration refuses foreign nationals wishing to enter Canada either temporarily or permanently for medical inadmissibility if they believe the foreign national would cause an excessive demand on social and health care services. However, this regulation is over forty years old and needs to be reformed into a 21st century. Specifically, Mr. Hussen stated that this principle of the excessive demand on social and health care services does not align with Canadian values and does not allow for the inclusion of people with disabilities.
In order to better understand exactly what an excessive demand on social and health care services truly means, I will provide a definition. In Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, under section 38-1C, excessive demand is defined as a demand “for which the anticipated costs would likely exceed average Canadian per capita health services and social services” within a period of five years following the most recent medical examination. It is important to note that in some circumstances, this period can be extended to ten consecutive years. What is also considered is the anticipated impact on current wait times for social and health care services in Canada. An demand to be considered excessive, in 2017, would have to be approximately a cost threshold of over $6,500 per year or a total of approximately $33,000 over a five year period.
It is important to note that there are exemptions to this regulation. For instance, in cases of Family Sponsorship, specifically for a sponsor’s spouse, common law partner, conjugal partner or dependent child, this regulation does not apply.
It is important to recognize that, in 2015, the savings that were made from the current regulation were represented as 0.1% of all health spending in Canada. Additionally, decisions that revolve around excessive demand rules ultimately result in annual savings of approximately $135 million as per Mr. Hussen. Although $135 million is a large amount of money, for that to account for approximately 0.1% of all health spending in Canada, it is evident that there is little to no savings with the current regulation.
As a result of this discovery, Mr. Hussen consulted with his department, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and conducted a review of the policy in 2016 which included Canada’s provincial and territorial governments as well as disability advocates. The consultation reviewed the current regulation of medical inadmissibility. Conclusively, Mr. Hussen and the respective parties discussed a number of potential changes to the medical inadmissibility regulation which include adjustments to the cost threshold as well as amendments to the groups of individuals who are exempt from this regulation.
There were suggestions made probing to see if the excessive demand regulation can be dismissed entirely and thankfully Mr. Hussen stated that all options are available. However, he was extremely adamant about mentioning that medical examinations are now mandatory for all applicants applying for permanent residency in Canada. Additionally, applicants applying for temporary residence in Canada may also be required to undergo a medical examination.
Ultimately, the goal of the new changes to the medical inadmissibility regulation in Canada is to ensure the protection of Canada’s social and health care services under the federal as well as provincial governments as well as ensuring the fair treatment of all migrants coming to Canada.
In order to overcome medical inadmissibility to Canada, one’s medical circumstances must have changed or gotten better since the last medical examination. The results must be different and the foreign national must be in better health. Additionally, if the Immigration officer determines that the foreign national is medically inadmissible to Canada then they may notify the foreign national of the medical results and use the model of Procedural Fairness Letter – medical refusals. If this is the case, then the foreign national has a total of 60 days to respond to the letter and provide new information to determine that they are no longer medically inadmissible. On the other hand, if the applicant needs to urgently enter Canada for specific reasons, they may apply for a Temporary Resident Permit. However, it is very important to recognize that Temporary Resident Permits are not guaranteed and their entry can be refused again.
It is essential that you have taken all of the aforementioned information into consideration before you attempt to enter Canada with medical inadmissibility. If you believe you may be medically inadmissible due to a health condition, it is best to consult with your medical practitioner to determine your state of health. Additionally, it is extremely important to note that immigration applications are difficult applications to pursue on your own, especially if you may have medical inadmissibility; therefore, it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to submit the application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients overcome their medical inadmissibility in order to successfully enter Canada. If you believe that you may be eligible to enter Canada but have medical inadmissibility, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice.
With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!