Medical inadmissibility

If you apply to come to Canada, you need to meet all inadmissibility rules to be allowed to enter the country. This includes medical inadmissibility.

Medical inadmissibility affects anyone applying to visit, study, work or live permanently in Canada.

There are 3 possible reasons for medical inadmissibility:

Danger to public health

We may refuse your application if we believe your health condition will endanger Canada’s public health. This decision is based on the results of your immigration medical exam.

We’ll consider:

  • your immigration medical exam results, including
    • laboratory test results by third party physicians that we designate
    • any other specialist reports that our medical officers request
  • whether you may have certain infectious diseases, such as active tuberculosis or active syphilis, or whether you’ve been in close contact with others with an infectious disease
  • how your disease could affect other people living in Canada

Danger to public safety

We may refuse your application if we believe that your health condition will endanger public safety. This decision is based on the results of your immigration medical exam.

We’ll consider your risk of:

  • sudden incapacity (loss of physical and mental abilities)
  • unpredictable or violent behaviour

Excessive demand on health or social services

We may refuse your application if we believe that your health condition might cause an excessive demand on health or social services. This decision is based on the results of your immigration medical exam.

Your condition is considered to cause an excessive demand if:

  • the health or social services needed to treat your health condition would negatively affect wait times for services in Canada, or
  • the services needed to treat and manage your health condition would likely cost more than the excessive demand cost threshold

Excessive demand cost threshold

2019 cost threshold (under the temporary public policy)

$102,585 over 5 years (or $20,517 per year)

Calculation of the excessive demand cost threshold

This is an amount that we use to decide if the cost of your condition places an excessive demand on Canada’s health and social services.

In June 2018, the Government of Canada announced changes to the excessive demand policy. Under the new policy, the cost threshold amount is increased. The new amount is now three times the Canadian average cost for health and social services. We’ll update this amount every year, based on the latest Canadian average.

Exceptions

Medical inadmissibility rules for excessive demand reasons don’t apply to:

When you receive a procedural fairness letter

If we believe you may be medically inadmissible, we’ll send you a letter which explains the reason why. This letter is called a procedural fairness letter. You’ll receive this letter before a final decision is made on your application. You’ll have the opportunity to submit information to respond.

You are allowed to get advice or representation from a professional to help you respond to the procedural fairness letter, but it’s not required.

For example, you may give us information and evidence on:

  • your health condition or the medical diagnosis
    • for example, if you’ve received treatment to cure or improve your health condition
  • the kind of medication and services that you need
    • for example, if your doctor has changed your medication
  • the cost of medications or services that you need
    • for example, if your doctor has switched your medication to a lower cost equivalent

All additional information must be sent within 90 days from the date of the letter. If you can’t respond by that date, you must contact us to request an extension.

The contact information is in the letter we sent you. Send all additional information or your request for an extension to that address.

Mitigation plan

If we believe your health condition might cause excessive demand on Canada’s health or social services, we may invite you to send us a mitigation plan. You’ll only be invited to do this if it applies to your specific situation.

Learn how to prepare a mitigation plan for excessive demand.

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