On April 16, 2018, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Hussen announced changes to the medical inadmissibility provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to update the existing 40-year-old policy. The Canadian Government had been reviewing all elements of the medical inadmissibility provisions since 2016.
Under the old policy, applicants could be found medically inadmissible to Canada based on a set of criteria out of touch with a 21st century vision of persons with disabilities and inclusion. Those who have been affected by the provision include economic class immigrants who would have otherwise been approved on the basis of their skills. Their applications would have been refused under the medical inadmissibility provision because they or their children had a health condition or disability that could have been accommodated by Canadian society.
The new policy on medical inadmissibility aims to strike a balance between protecting publicly funded health and social services while updating the policy to bring it in line with current views on the inclusion of persons with disabilities.
The changes include:
- Increasing the cost threshold for medical inadmissibility to 3 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 equation.
It is expected that increasing the cost threshold will dispense with a majority of the medical inadmissibility cases seen in Canada today while amending the definition of social services will bring the policy in line with Canadian values on inclusion of persons with disabilities.
The eventual goal of the upcoming changes is to eliminate the medical inadmissibility policy in the future. The federal and provincial governments are working together towards the full elimination of the medical inadmissibility provision.
If you have any questions about how this new policy may affect you or your family, please set up a consultation with one of our lawyers.