Canadian Law Group

Promoting Inclusivity for People with Disabilities: Changes in the Canadian Medical Inadmissibility Policy

By Veronique Malka

The Canadian government is pledging to make its immigration system more inclusive to foreign nationals. Canada is committed to being at the forefront of ensuring accessibility and opportunities to Canadians with disabilities. Prior to the changes, applicants could be found inadmissible to immigrate to Canada due to mental or physical disabilities that could be handled by the advanced Canadian public healthcare system.

The new policy includes the following changes:

  1. Increasing the cost threshold for medical inadmissibility to 3 times the previous level. For example, foreign nationals living with HIV, which used to be considered a burden to the Canadian healthcare system, will now no longer be inadmissible by default, and;
  2. Amending the definition of social services by removing references to special education, social and vocational rehabilitation services and personal support services.

The first change aims at facilitating immigration for applicants with health conditions that have low social or health services costs. The second change will ease immigration applications for foreign nationals with intellectual disabilities, hearing or visual impairments, and others.

This move towards an inclusive selection of inadmissible applicants will hopefully create a more welcoming environment for all foreign nationals applying for Canadian immigration, and is very much in line with the government’s agenda of attracting the most qualified applicants to join the Canadian society.

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