Canada Relaxes Medical Inadmissibility Rules To Make Immigration More Inclusive


Canada is known to offer universal healthcare among other economic, social benefits to all the holders of permanent residence. Thousands of aspirants worldwide apply for permanent residence (PR) in Canada annually to enjoy its obvious advantage. 


Following this, Canada is making its 2018 pilot on medical inadmissible rules into a permanent, inclusive immigration policy. It shall result in relaxing the restrictions on certain foreign nationals with disabilities from getting permanent residence (PR). Further, it will strengthen Canada’s resolute to welcome over 1.2 million new immigrants in the next three years. 

Until now, the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) could deny entry to Canada to someone whose personal care would cost the government more than the Canadian average of about $7,000 annually. Immigration officers would often issue medical inadmissibility under the ‘excessive demand’ clause. The legal definition is very broad as it covers any physical or mental conditions that place ‘excessive’ demand on public health and social services. 

However, with the rollout of the new policy, immigration to Canada has become more inclusive ad dignified. Canada has now tripled this threshold to about $21,000 annually. In other words, it is more difficult for people who need medical and social supports to be denied for Canadian immigration.

Canada Immigration Case Study

Sometimes, if a principal applicant applying for economic-class immigration has an accompanying dependent who is found medically inadmissible, that principal applicant is also inadmissible.

It can be understood by this decade-old case study. 

A South African family sought immigration to Canada through the investor program. The Hilewitz family was accompanied by their son who had serious intellectual disabilities. Following this, the then immigration officer ruled the entire family inadmissible for immigration. 

Later, the family challenged the decision in the Supreme Court. They demonstrated that they had always paid from their own pockets for their son’s treatment in South Africa and would continue to meet all the expenses if allowed to settle in Canada. 

The judgment passed in 2005 overturned the immigration officer’s decision and asked IRCC to consider the Hilewitz family’s willingness to assist Gavin, allowing them to settle in Canada. 

This is to suggest the inclusive nature of Canadian immigration. Canada is known to prefer young skilled professionals/entrepreneurs/international students who can positively contribute to the national economy.  

Anyone applying for immigration to Canada will have to undergo a mandatory medical test. All permanent resident applicants, including accompanying spouses, partners, and dependent children are required to undergo a medical exam. It includes a Physical Examination, Chest X-rays, Blood Test, Urine Test.  Moreover, the doctor conducting these tests must be included in the list as a designated panel physician approved by IRCC. 

The official gazette notification was released on March 16 and the public has up to 30 days to offer comments before it is finalized, after April 15. Contact CanApprove to get more such updates.

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