Has your immigration case been refused
because of medical inadmissibility?
Have you received a procedural fairness letter?
At Bellissimo Law Group PC we specialize in immigration medical inadmissibility cases.
Who can be found to be medically inadmissible?
The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act sets out that a foreign national, which is anyone who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, can be found to be medically inadmissible on 1 of 3 separate grounds:
- They are likely to be a danger to public health;
- They are likely to be a danger to public safety; or
- They might reasonably be expected to cause excessive demand on health or social services.
What does it mean to be “a danger to public health” or “a danger to public safety”?
Assessments of whether or not a medical condition is likely to cause a danger to public health generally require consideration of factors such as the communicability of the disease and/or the impact it could have on persons living in Canada (see section 31 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations). Examples of conditions that fit within this description and have resulted in medical inadmissibility include Pulmonary Tuberculosis and untreated syphilis.
Assessments of danger to public safety take account of whether or not the medical condition may result in sudden incapacity, or unpredictable or violent behaviour. Inadmissibility could result from diagnosis of certain impulsive sociopathic behaviour disorders or some aberrant sexual disorders, such as pedophilia.
What is excessive demand?
Determinations of inadmissibility for excessive demand can result from 1 of 2 separate assessments: 1) the foreign national’s need for medical services will negatively affect current wait times in Canada for said services; or 2) the services required to treat and manage the foreign national’s health condition will cost more than 3 times the Canadian per capita cost for health and social services over a 5-year period (or 10, if significant costs are likely to be incurred). For reference, the cost of health and social services for the average Canadian was determined to be $6, 604 in 2018.
Importantly, the cost threshold was formerly based on the Canadian per capita cost alone. This means that, if in 2018 the services to treat and manage the foreign national’s health condition cost more than $6, 604, that migrant would be inadmissible. On 1 June 2018, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen signed into effect the Temporary Public Policy Regarding Excessive Demand on Health and Social Services, which increased the existing cost threshold to three times the average Canadian cost. A full discussion of this policy is available on our blog, here. This means that the “cost threshold” has been set at $19, 812 per year, or $99, 060 over 5 years.
The Temporary Public Policy Regarding Excessive Demand on Health and Social Services additionally amended the definition of “social services”, limiting medical assessments of excessive demand to only those publicly funded social services that are related to health services and/or the provision of continual supervision and care. As a result of these changes social services that will no longer be included in determinations of inadmissibility include special education services and social and vocational rehabilitation services. Be mindful though not all social services are exempted.
One further consideration for assessments of excessive demand for foreign nationals hoping to settle in Ontario. At the end of October 2017, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care announced that as of 1 January 2018, all babies, children and youth, up to 24 years who have OHIP coverage will be covered by OHIP+. Enrollment in OHIP+ will be automatic and all eligible medications will be covered at no cost if they are available through the Ontario Drug Benefit (ODB) program. As a result, the costs associated with medication for children will now likely be factored into medical admissibility assessments. For more information, please read our blog post on these changes, here.
How is cost assessed?
Foreign nationals hoping to travel and/or migrate to Canada must undergo an immigration medical examination, pursuant to subsection 16(2)(b) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, unless they are exempt under section 30(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. An assessment of admissibility is then provided to the officer processing the application by a medical officer who has reviewed this exam. The officer will consider this assessment and decide if the foreign national’s health condition falls within the parameters for inadmissibility set out above. Before a decision is made on admissibility, the foreign national should be provided with an opportunity to respond via a procedural fairness letter.
How can Bellissimo Law Group PC help?
Many medical and psychological conditions, including developmental delays, can lead to refusal of an immigration visa or application for permanent residence. It is critical to respond to an officer’s concerns with a medical and legal immigration plan that is well researched, supported and presented in a convincing and substantive manner for the best immigration results.
We work on these plans for medical immigration cases daily with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the Immigration Appeal Division and the Federal Courts. We have fought hard, as high as the Supreme Court of Canada, to bring factors considered by officers assessing medical inadmissibility to where they are today, i.e.: taking into account an applicant’s individual circumstances, ensuring consideration of an applicant’s plan to offset any costs and their resources, and ensuring that the appropriate officers undertake the appropriate steps and make decisions they are empowered to make. See Hilewitz, Colaco, Sapru.
We have successfully presented plans for various medical conditions which include, but are not limited to:
- Chronic Kidney Disease
- Cardiac Disease
- Autoimmune Disease, i.e.: HIV, Lupus
- Learning Disabilities to Pervasive Development Disorder requiring special education
- Cerebral Palsy
- Down Syndrome
- Psychiatric Disorders
- Hepatitis B and C and Liver Disease
- Blood Disorders
- Brain Disorders
- Rare Diseases and Conditions
- Total Knee Replacement
Don’t wait until your immigration visa is refused. Instead, be proactive. If you or your dependent family member has a medical condition, contact us to discuss. Timing is critical as steps can be taken before a decision is made to alter the outcome. At Bellissimo Law Group PC we have litigated medical immigration cases right to the Supreme Court and are responsible for most the cases that have shaped this area of law. This area of law is extremely complex and good advocacy can be the difference so ensure you are well represented. Please click below to read what our client’s whom we have assisted with medical cases say.