Medical Inadmissibility in Canada: All You Need to Know

There are medical conditions that can make someone medically inadmissible to enter Canada and live in the country on a permanent basis. Find out why a foreign national might be inadmissible and what to do in order to counter that.

Is there a list of medical conditions or diseases that would deem you inadmissible to Canada? However surprising that might sound, there are no specific illnesses that would prevent you from trying for a Canadian visa. Whether or not you manage to secure a visa is an entirely different story.

Medical inadmissibility rules apply to everyone who wants to relocate to Canada permanently or temporarily (for work or education). An individual can be found medically inadmissible on three grounds:

  • If they pose a danger to public health;
  • If they pose a danger to public safety;
  • If their medical condition would put unreasonable strain on health or social services.

Medical inadmissibility is determined after you apply for a visa and complete a government-required medical examination. These examinations are done by Panel Physicians approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (CIC) either in Canada or in your country of origin. An up-to-date list of authorized clinics and doctors can be found on the CIC website.

What Do Canadian Immigration Medical Exams Include?

Whether you are applying for a student visa, a work visa, or Permanent Resident status, you will need to go through the regulated medical examination process. The CIC medical exam usually includes the following:

  • A clinical examination of your eyes, ears, nose, and throat;
  • An examination of your heart and lungs;
  • A chest X-ray;
  • A check-up of your vital signs: blood pressure, pulse, temperature, height, and weight;
  • Blood tests (in particular for HIV, Syphilis, and Hepatitis);
  • Urine tests.

Applicants are also strongly encouraged to disclose information about any known or prior medical conditions and chronic illnesses when undergoing their exams.

One of the main purposes of the examination is to calculate the potential costs of your healthcare. Healthcare in Canada is government-subsidized. Every year the authorities allocate a certain sum of money per individual that would roughly cover all of their potential medical expenses.

The government, essentially, wants to know how much your healthcare would cost the Canadian budget on a yearly basis.

Canada’s New Medical Inadmissibility Rules

The latest changes to the policy governing the medical inadmissibility of immigrants were introduced in June 2018. The update — dubbed the 2018 Excessive Demand Policy Update — primarily focused on raising the cost threshold for what was viewed as an excessive demand on the Canadian healthcare services.

In 2017, that cost threshold was around $6,500 per year. That led to over 1,000 applicants for permanent or temporary residence being ruled unsuitable every year.

After the revision, the cost threshold was raised to be around $19,900 per year. In 2020, the numbers have been further updated to $21,204.

Medical Conditions That Can Prevent You From Entering Canada

There is no specific list of illnesses and conditions that are considered to pose a danger to public health and safety. Generally, a medical condition may fall under this provision if it potentially leads to:

  • Unexpected loss of physical and mental abilities;
  • Violent behavior;
  • Sudden incapacity.

A medical condition can be considered “excessive demand” if the affected individual requires any of the following:

  • Publicly-funded prescription drugs;
  • Rehabilitation services and devices;
  • Home care services paid by a government agency, etc.

Your doctor will determine the estimated costs of each and every service you may require. If the medical examination determines your healthcare needs to be within that allocated range, you will likely encounter no problems with your application.

If your conditions are on the more serious side and the treatment you require exceeds the government-approved limits, your visa application can be rejected.

Work With an Immigration Consultant to Avoid Potential Setbacks

Regardless of your medical condition, if you can prove that you will be able to afford private healthcare and drugs (by purchasing an insurance plan, providing proof of having sufficient funds, etc.) you can still qualify for a visa.

Successfully tackling these cases may prove difficult without the help of an immigration consultant. If you believe that a medical examination can hinder your chances of qualifying for a visa, our team of professionals is here to offer advice and legal support throughout your immigration journey. Contact us to get started today.

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