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Ottawa first to relax medical inadmissibility clause

Persons with illnesses and disabilities who would previously not meet Canada’s entry requirements due to their health problems may from 1 June be successful in their application to immigrate to Canada. This is due to the relaxing of certain Canadian immigration laws that made persons suffering from certain medical conditions inadmissible to the country.

Ottawa First To Relax Medical Inadmissibility Clause

“Today’s changes are long overdue and ensure more families are welcome in Canada,” said Kirsty Duncan, minister of sport and persons with disabilities.

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Ottawa will relax the restrictions on immigrant applicants with disabilities and chronic health problems that have prevented many from immigrating to the country on the grounds of medical inadmissibility.

The change will be made as part of the government’s inclusive agenda. While the changes are not a full repeal of the “excessive medical demand” clause in the immigration act this may soon change after a full repeal was recommended by a parliamentary immigration committee in a study released in December.

On Monday, federal Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen announced that he will update the 40-year-old policy that bars prospective immigrants deemed medically inadmissible to Canada, with new criteria of medical demand for immigration assessment taking effect on June 1.

Under current law, medical demand is found to be excessive if it exceeds the average annual health-care costs for a Canadian, which is estimated at $6,655. The proposed changes will raise the cost threshold for medical inadmissibility to three times that level, or $19,965, and remove references to special education, social and vocational services and personal support services needed by the applicants.

In Ottawa, Hussen said the changes are part of the Liberal government’s mandate toward a more inclusive Canada.

The medical inadmissibility provision “was out of step with the values of Canadians. The changes we are announcing today are a major step forward in ensuring our immigration system is more inclusive of persons with disabilities, and reflect the values of Canadians,” he told the Star.

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“The provision did not adequately account for the contributions made by the entire family just because a family member has a disability.”

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