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Canada Expected to make Changes in Medical Inadmissibility Rules

November 2017, 24
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Canadian Immigration Minister, Ahmed Hussen has made a statement regarding the present rules for newcomers for medical inadmissibility. He said that they do not match with the values of Canada and require a dose of change.

He made an appearance before the Immigration Standing Committee of the Parliament, to review rules for medical inadmissibility on the immigrants, which were overdue and necessary.

Ahmed Hussen said that “The policy of Canada at present, to refuse immigrants, who are considered to cause a heavy demand on social services and health services, has been in force for the past forty years, and needs to be adjusted to the demands of the twenty-first century. Based on principles, the present provision of being an excessive demand on the country is not aligned with the Canadian values, and the persons having disabilities, also need to be included in the society.”

Section 38-1C, of the Canada Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, gives the meaning of an excessive demand as “ one in which, the possible cost, is likely to go beyond the standard Canadian per capita social services and health cost” in a period containing five consecutive years, soon after the recent-health-check assessment has been done. In a few instances, this period has been extended to ten successive years. The likely impact, on the current waiting time to avail health and social services in the country, is also considered.

In the present year the threshold of cost, for a demand to be measured, as excessive, is $6,655 per year.

The excessive demand policy allows a few exemptions, in Family Sponsorship cases when the persons involved are conjugal or common-law partners, a spouse or a dependent child, of a sponsor.

Current Savings are meager

Decisions made in the excessive demand rules resulted in an estimated saving of merely $135 million annually. In 2015, that total was 0.1 percent of health spending done by Canada. These numbers were extremely small to consider.

The Immigration Minister noted that IRCC had initiated a review of its policy last year. Long consultations were held with governments of the provinces and territories as well as disability advocates of Canada. The present legal landscape was considered and the likely changes to be made were also discussed. He said that there was a discussion on cost threshold adjustments and changes in the groups to be exempted from the provision.

All options under Consideration

Ahmed Hussen was asked if IRCC was considering removal of the excessive demand rule entirely, and he replied that all the options will be considered. He stated that the provisions of medical examination, required for every applicant, to get an Immigration Visa, and for the applicants to get temporary status in Canada, will remain in force as before.

The objective of the review was to uphold all possible governmental commitment, for ensuring the protection of health and social services, in the country and giving a just treatment to the immigrants.

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