Health conditions are a universal concern, and for those desiring a future abroad, this is no exception when it affects one’s ability to immigrate. For individuals unfamiliar with Canadian immigration medical laws, refusal and inadmissibility to Canada can become an unanticipated reality. Canadian immigration regulations stipulate that foreign national candidates and all of their immediate family pass a standard physical exam, as well as provide blood and urine tests, and x-rays. Further, prior medical records and psychological examinations (including those for developmental delays) are also taken into consideration.
Refusal and inadmissibility for Canadian Permanent Residency can be based on medical grounds alone. Reasons for medical refusals and inadmissibility are as follows:
- The applicant or family member’s health condition—be it physical or psychological—would endanger the health or safety of the broader Canadian population; OR,
- The applicant or family member’s admission might cause excessive demand on existing health or social services provided by the Canadian government.
So what does “excessive demand” actually mean?
According to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), a foreign applicant can be deemed inadmissible if a health condition might cause an “excessive demand” on health or social services. Moreover, should an applicant’s family member be deemed inadmissible to Canada for health reasons, the principal applicant (and other immediate family members) will be denied Permanent Residency. Taking this into consideration, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) explicitly defines “excessive demand” as:
- A demand in which “the anticipated costs would likely exceed average Canadian per capita health services and social services costs over a period of five consecutive years immediately following the most recent medical examination.” OR,
- A demand for “health services or 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 services to Canadian citizens or permanent residents.”
- Learning Disabilities
- Down Syndrome
- Brain or Blood Disorders
- Autoimmune Disease (HIV/AIDS, Lupus, etc.)
- Heart Disease
- Cerebral Palsy
- Tuberculosis (TB)
- Zika Virus
- Kidney Disease
- Hepatitis B and C
- Liver Disease
- Other applicable health issues
It is important that applicants discuss their immigration options with a qualified Immigration Lawyer, Immigration Law Service, and/or physicians in order to develop a well-researched and validated legal medical plan to best achieve the desired Canadian Immigration results.
What if the applicant or an applicant’s family member is deemed “likely to cause danger to public health or public safety,” resulting in refusal and inadmissibility to Canada?
In this case, the primary applicant will be notified of medical results by a visa/immigration officer via the Procedural Fairness Letter model as it applies to refusal and inadmissibility on medical grounds.
What if the applicant or an applicant’s family member “might reasonably cause excessive demand on health and/or social services,” resulting in Canada Visa Refusal and Inadmissibility?
Likewise, the primary applicant will be notified of refusal and inadmissibility by a CIC visa/immigration officer via the Procedural Fairness Letter model. In addition, a Declaration of Ability and Intent template will be provided to the applicant to either challenge the medical opinion or present a mitigation plan for reconsideration of the refusal and inadmissibility decisions.
If an applicant receives notice of refusal and inadmissibility to Canada for the above reasons, what is the next step?
- Regarding the matter of health exams and documentation, applicants are required by CIC to provide any supplementary documents or information relevant to their application, pay any doctor or professional consultation fees charged for supplemental information, and lastly, respond to the visa office within the allotted timeframe (60 days) for document submission.
- If new documents are obtained by the applicant in the 60-day timeframe to challenge medical opinion or present a mitigation plan, the new information will be reviewed by a medical officer. In this case, the medical officer will either confirm the prior medical opinion for refusal and inadmissibility; OR, vacate the prior medical opinion for the applicant’s refusal and inadmissibility and renew the assessment process in order to provide a new medical opinion.
Fill out our Free Assessment to find out if you qualify for any of the immigration programs offered.
For additional information about Immigration to Canada and Permanent Residency programs, click here.