Canada: Medical Inadmissibility Rules to be Updated
The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has announced that changes to the way foreign nationals with serious medical conditions will be admitted to Canada are coming. A formal announcement is expected in April 2018.
Rules interpreting what qualifies as ‘excessive demand’ on the public health care system – which could prohibit a foreign national from entering Canada and/or becoming a permanent resident – are expected to be relaxed in April 2018 to better align with Canadian values on the inclusion of persons with disabilities.
- Current health care coverage.
- In general, foreign employees in Canada with employer-specific work permits valid for six months or more are eligible for public health coverage offered by the province of residence.
- Currently, a foreign employee with a medical condition that is expected to create ‘excessive demand’ on the public health care system would need to seek special permission to enter Canada with a Temporary Resident Permit, and they or their family members would face significant challenges when applying for permanent residence.
- Definition of ‘excessive demand’. ‘Excessive demand’ is defined in Canadian immigration legislation and generally refers to a need for public health or social services that would exceed the average cost per Canadian in Canada, and/or that increases wait times for services.
Impact on foreign nationals
The announcement is expected to include a relaxation of the definition of who is medically inadmissible to Canada, which may allow more foreign nationals with serious medical conditions to enter Canada without special permission and to then seek permanent residence. It would also allow more relatives to become permanent residents even if their family member has a serious medical condition.
The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is expected to address the government’s plan to modify the rules around excessive demand as well as the plans for covering the public health care costs of previously-inadmissible foreign nationals in an April 2018 announcement.
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