Medical Inadmissibility

On June 1, 2018, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) implemented a temporary public policy regarding medical inadmissibility and the excessive demand on health and social services.

Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, foreign nationals may be found inadmissible to Canada on health grounds if their health conditions might reasonably be expected to cause excessive demands on health and social services. In 2017, an “excessive demand” was considered to be care costing more than $6,655.00 per year or $33,275.00 over five years.

As a result of the new temporary public policy, effective June 1, 2018, foreign nationals who otherwise would have been found inadmissible on health grounds due to excessive demand may be granted an exemption if they meet the following criteria:

  • They have a pending application as of April 16, 2018; and
  • The expected costs for required health and social services to treat their medical condition does not exceed three times the Canadian average.

Further regulatory changes are expected to include a revised definition of “social services”, which would remove references to special education, social and vocational rehabilitation and personal support services.

When all changes are implemented, it is expected that only 300 to 400 individuals per year will be found inadmissible on health grounds due to excessive demand, rendering the provision largely inapplicable.

For further information on medical inadmissibility and to receive assistance to prepare an exemption request, please contact our immigration practice group at