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Government Decision on Rejecting Immigrants on Medical Grounds Expected in April

February 2018, 17
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Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Canada stated, that the Action Plan, undertaken by his department, to address the policy, which refuses immigrants, who are likely to raise an excessive demand, on the  Health-Care System, of the country, will be released by April 12th.

The Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration of the Parliament has recommended, putting an end to the rules in Section 38 1(C) Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, of Canada, pertaining to the excessive demand, which is regarded to be at variance with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

This recommendation was made by the Standing Committee Report, regarding medical inadmissibility rules, meant for immigrants, and was taken up on December 12. IRCC was given 120 days to give a response regarding this matter.

Appearing before the Committee, the Minister restated his belief, that the existing rules needed a change. The present policy is not in rhythm with Canadian values in accommodating disabled people.


Jenny Kwan, Committee Member asked him, regarding the delay in taking action by IRCC. The ministry had studied this issue for long, and people’s lives are affected by it. She cited examples of rejection of applications, for permanent residence, because of this rule, and stated that there were nearly 1,000 applications, affected every year, owing to the controversial policy, of excessive demand in Canada.

Hussen argued that IRCC was consulting the provinces, regarding the best way to move ahead, on the contentious clause, which was in position for four decades now.

He had publicly stated about the change in this policy, as it was against Canadian values, on the inclusivity of disabled persons, and it was equally important, as it affected provincial budgets. It needed to be aligned with the will of the provinces. 

As per the Constitution in Canada, Provincial and Territorial Governments are responsible to deliver health and social services to the residents.

What is excessive demand?

Under Section 38 1 (C) of  Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, Canada, a prospective immigrant, can be denied admission, on health grounds, if his/her health condition is reasonably expected, to make an excessive demand, on the health or social services of the country.

It is defined as one, where the anticipated cost, is likely to exceed the average per capita health services, and social services, in the country, for a 5/10-year period, or which is likely to affect existing waiting time, to seek health and social services.

In 2017, the threshold for the excessive demand was $6,655, for one year, or $33,275 for five years.

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