The Government of Canada has announced changes to make the medical inadmissibility policy fairer and more inclusive for people with disabilities while continuing to protect publicly funded health and social services. The changes include tripling the medical inadmissibility cost threshold and removing references to special education, social and vocational rehabilitation services and personal support services from the definition of social services.
Raising the threshold makes immigration easier for applicants with relatively low costs for health and social services. Amending the definition of social services brings the policy in line with Canadian values of supporting the participation of people with disabilities in society.
Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, foreign nationals are found inadmissible if they have a health condition that is expected to exceed the average Canadian per-capita cost of health or social services or add to existing provincial or territorial wait lists.
The government has been discussing the issue of medical inadmissibility with provinces, territories and stakeholders since 2016. Going forward, the government will gather new data on the effect of these policy changes and discuss the impact of repealing the medical inadmissibility provision with provinces and territories.