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You might benefit from Canada’s changes to health requirements for visa holders

Canadian visa applicants welcomed the news that Canada has made a number of changes to their entry health requirements making the right moves to a more inclusive immigration policy.  The changes to the health requirements for visa applicants will mean that more people now have an equal opportunity to qualify for a Canadian visa.

Most countries have at least some minimum health requirements that must be met by visa applicants before their visa application will even be looked at.  Australia and Canada has taken a notoriously tough stance on health requirements but now Canada has taken a very important and ground breaking step to encouraging equality and stop discrimination based on health.

Health Requirement changes made in April 2018 were:

•             Increasing the cost threshold for medical inadmissibility to three times the previous level ($6,655 to $19,965); and

•             Amending the definition of social services by removing references to special education, social and vocational rehabilitation services and personal support services, thereby removing their consideration in the medical admissibility assessment.

Canada’s previous Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) indicated that a foreign national would be inadmissible to Canada on health grounds if their health condition might reasonably be expected to cause excessive demand on health or social services. The effect was to exclude foreign nationals from entering or remaining in Canada, if they were found by Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to fall under the provision.

We came across an interesting article, detailing the move by Canada Immigration Refugees and Citizenship, published in The Lawyer’s Daily.  It is well worth sharing.  The Lawyer’s Daily comments that it is anticipated that increasing the cost threshold will significantly diminish the number of medical inadmissibility cases.

Canada Health (1)

What the changes mean for would-be visa applicants

When making an application to IRCC to enter or remain in Canada as a temporary resident or permanently, IRCC routinely requests foreign nationals to undergo a comprehensive medical examination. In the case of an application for permanent residence in Canada, a medical examination is services to Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

If the medical examination reveals that the primary applicant, or an accompanying dependent family member, requires the use of health/social services which may cause an excessive demand, the applicant will receive a “procedural fairness” letter from IRCC noting the concerns. In response, if the applicant can provide a detailed and feasible plan to attenuate the expected use and cost of the services which the IRCC may then approve or reject.

The applicant is expected to provide a detailed plan of the course of treatment to be undertaken; the duration, any medication, apparatus to be used, specialist care etc.  The IRCC will consider the plan and make their decision based on their findings.

An immigration specialist may be able to provide an indication of the likely outcome of your application.


What is meant by “Excessive Health Demands”?

•             a demand on Canada’s health or social services for which the anticipated costs would likely exceed average Canadian per capita health/social services costs over a period of five consecutive years; or

•             a demand on Canada’s health/social services that would add to existing waiting lists and would increase the rate of mortality and morbidity in Canada as a result of an inability to provide timely

“Currently, the average Canadian per capita cost threshold is $6,655 per year. Under the IRPR, health and social services are, in short, defined as services where the majority of funding is contributed by the government,” states the writer of the article.



Source: The Lawyer’s Daily and Immigration Refugees Citizenship Canada

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