April 16, 2018

Urgent Update – New Medical Admissibility Provisions Announced

Posted by Mario Bellissimo - Bellissimo Law Group PC

Upcoming changes to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act announced this morning will result in the following changes for medical admissibility, once the law is put into place:

  • Presently the threshold is set at $6,655 per year and the threshold is set to be raised to three times higher than the current limit (so based on the 2017 threshold, the upper limit would be $19,965 a year.
  • As well, the definition of social services will be amended to remove special education, and certain social and vocational rehabilitation and home care services. Out of hospital prescription drugs as one example is a social service that would continue factor into an excessive demand analysis.
  • In addition, the government intends to implement administrative changes, providing further training to officers, centralizing medical admissibility matters to one office, and using a plain-language to better explain the process to applicants.

Although the application of any new process will be the best measure of the impact of these changes we welcome the amendments as they are consistent with the submissions made on behalf of the Canadian Bar Association.  These changes will help reducing social handicapping, discrimination and unlawful medical inadmissibility findings.  It remains unclear how the changes will be implemented and the exact timing but it appears the current inventory may be assessed using the new measures be it by Ministerial public policy application or by virtue of section 25 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (humanitarian exemption).

These changes strike a good balance while allowing for further study of the impact of the changes and keeping the focus on social as opposed to health services until further data can be collected and regulatory amendment is finalized.  In all, we welcome the changes and thank the government for implementing many of the changes the Canadian Bar Association advocated for before the Standing Committee.