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Immigration Newsweek



Immigration Newsweek



By: Atty. Henry Moyal



For four decades, applicants around the globe have been refused visas to Canada due to their medical condition. Whether it was due to a child with developmental delay or a parent with a disability – the applicant and all their family members were denied.


That was the law – until now. Starting June 1, 2018, Canada Immigration will relax the restrictions on immigrant applicants with disabilities and chronic health problems that have prevented many from immigrating previously on the grounds of medical inadmissibility.


The current law assesses a certain amount that is said to be the average annual health cost for a Canadian. It other words, how much does it cost the government to care for health for the average Canadian?  The number is $6655. Therefore, anyone seeking to immigrate to Canada that has a medical condition that is more than $6655 is refused as the applicant has exceeded the amount or is what is called “excessive medical demand” refusal.


The new laws 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 applicants.

Despite the good intentions, many say that the new laws fall short of what is expected of Canada in today’s time. Many are wondering why the government did not simply repeal the entire excessive demand clause. After all, having a disability can happen to anyone through no fault and by simply raising the bar to 3 times the threshold is disappointing because it still views  people with disabilities as liabilities. It is noteworthy to mention that a full repeal was recommended by a parliamentary immigration committee in a study released in December.

Statistically, about 1,000 permanent and temporary applicants are found to be medically inadmissible every year on the ground of excessive demand on health care and social services. This represents only 0.2 per cent of all applicants who undergo medical screening.

Nevertheless, for the time being it is good news and a stark contrast to immigration’s attitude held for 40 years. It seems the future will see a full repeal but for now it is better than nothing most agree.

Attorney Henry Moyal is a certified and licensed immigration lawyer in Toronto, Ontario.
The above article is general advice only and is not intended to act as a legal document.
Send questions to Attorney Moyal by email or call 416 733 3193