Although inadmissibility is more often associated with criminal convictions and behaviour, medical inadmissibility causes more than 1,000 immigration applicants to be denied entry into Canada every year.
This is according to Statistics Canada data from 2019. Accordingly, especially because “every [Canadian permanent residence applicant] and some temporary status applicants, [must] undergo a medical examination”, medical inadmissibility must be an important consideration for all Canadian immigration visa applicants.
Among the primary concerns Canadian immigration applicants have about medical inadmissibility is whether any particular conditions will make someone inadmissible to Canada.
In short, there are no specific medical conditions that automatically make an immigration candidate inadmissible to this country. Instead, medical inadmissibility is determined based on three general principles. These principles will be detailed below.
What makes someone medically inadmissible to Canada?
After reviewing standard medical examinations (blood and urine tests, x-rays etc.), past medical records and mental capacity assessments, the Canadian immigration department can deem an immigration applicant medically inadmissible to Canada if they may:
1. Be a danger to public health
This determination is made based on medical exam results and the applicant’s health history
2. Be a danger to public safety
This determination is made if authorities believe there is concern about:
- A candidate’s potential for sudden mental or physical incapacity
- The applicant’s risk of unpredictable or violent behaviour
3. Put excessive demand on Canada’s health/social services
This determination is made based on the belief that an individual’s health condition will negatively impact Canada’s health and/or social services in Canada by extending service wait times or requiring excessive spending because “the services needed to treat and manage the health condition would likely cost more than the excessive demand cost threshold.”
The following three general groups of Canadian immigration applicants are not beholden to Canada’s medical inadmissibility rules for excessive demand:
- Refugees and their dependents
- Protected Persons
- Certain family sponsorship applicants (dependent children, spouses, common-law partners etc.)
Note: Canada’s excessive demand cost threshold for 2023 is $25,689 per year ($128,445 over five years)
Can immigration applicants overcome medical inadmissibility?
A designation of ‘medically inadmissible to Canada’ can be overcome by individuals with certain health conditions, including but not limited to those included in the list below:
- Chronic Kidney Disease
- Crohn’s Disease
- Autoimmune Diseases (ex. AIDS, Lupus)
- Learning Disabilities
- Cerebral Palsy
- Down Syndrome
- Hepatitis B & C
- Liver Disease
More information on the process of overcoming medical inadmissibility can be found here.
Getting help with handling a medically inadmissible designation
Canadian immigration lawyers can make it much easier to understand and navigate a medical inadmissibility designation. This is because trained and dedicated Canadian immigration lawyers can assist applicants with tasks such as:
- Preparing necessary documents
- Avoiding application mistakes & unnecessary delays
- Communicating with the Canadian government