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Changes to the Federal Government’s Approach to Medical Inadmissibility Removes Barriers to Permanent Residence for Economic Class Applicants

April 17, 2018

Changes to the Federal Government’s Approach to Medical Inadmissibility Removes Barriers to Permanent Residence for Economic Class Applicants

For the past 40 years under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act  (IRPA) an individual was medically inadmissible to Canada if their health condition might reasonably be expected to cause excessive demand on health or social services.
An “excessive demand” was defined as one for which the anticipated costs would likely exceed average Canadian per capita health services and social services costs over a period of five consecutive years. In 2017 the cost threshold for a demand to be considered “excessive” was $6,655 per year and $33,275 over 5 years.
Under this policy, applicants applying for permanent residence under any of Canada’s economic streams could be found medically inadmissible even if it could be demonstrated that their health condition or disability was one readily accommodated in Canadian society. Applicants under the family class, as well as convention refugees and protected persons are exempt from the IRPA’s medical inadmissibility provisions with respect to excessive demand on health or social services.
On April 16, 2018 the Federal Government announced historic changes to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s approach to determining medical inadmissibility. Specifically, the changes:

  • increase the cost threshold for medical inadmissibility to 3 times the previous level; and
  • amend the definition of social services by removing references to special education, social and vocational rehabilitation services and personal support services.

While medical inadmissibility findings are not particularly common with approximately 1,000 determinations each year, these changes go a long way to removing barriers to permanent residence for economic class applicants. The changes announced on April 16 are effective as of June 1, 2018 and will apply to all cases that have not yet been decided.
If you have any questions about this topic or any other questions relating to workplace law, please do not hesitate to contact a Mathews Dinsdale lawyer directly for more assistance.

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