Rules for Immigrants With Medical Conditions are Changing

Under Section 38-1-C of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), also known as “medical inadmissibility due to excessive demand,” immigrants who were disabled or had serious medical conditions could be barred from permanent residency in Canada if their cost of care was expected to be more than $6,655 annually.

On April 16, 2016, Ahmed Hussen, the Immigration Minister, announced that Section 38-1-C will be revised. With the changes, an immigrant’s future public social services cost will no longer be considered. In addition, immigrants will not be barred from permanent residency in Canada if their medical costs are less than $20,000 annually. Finally, immigrants with conditions such as autism and HIV—which would previously prevented them from immigrating permanently to Canada—will now be allowed to immigrate.

The Debate

The changes to Section 38-1-C are welcome by many and may allow previously-ineligible individuals to come to Canada. However, some claim the revisions do not go far enough and want to see all limits based on medical history to be removed. Two Charter of Rights and Freedoms’ challenges have already been filed to make this happen.

A House of Commons committee looking into the matter determined that medical inadmissibility be eliminated. Some suggest that continuing to bar people from coming to Canada based on medical conditions may violate Article 18 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and aver that people with medical conditions and disabilities make significant contributions to their communities. Others note that Canadian health services are paid for by tax dollars and accepting those with medical conditions can have a significant impact on social services and a health care system which already is seeing a shortage of doctors.

Are You Now Eligible to Immigrate to Canada?

Even if you have a serious medical condition, you may still be eligible to immigrate to Canada with the new revisions to the rules. In the past about 1,000 applicants (or about 0.2% of all applicants) for residence in Canada have been found medically non-admissible. With the new changes, some of these immigrants will be able to come to Canada.

If you would like to apply to immigrate to Canada, take a look at Immigration Direct. We have a free blog with the latest news about rule changes which could affect your application. We also have a number of resources to help you apply for permanent residency.