Ottawa, April 16, 2018
Greater Immigration Accessibility for Canadians with Disabilities

One of the Government of Canada’s priorities is to ensure greater accessibility and opportunities for Canadians with disabilities. Today’s announcement by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Ahmed Hussen of changes to the medical inadmissibility provision of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act ensures that our immigration policies better align with Canadian values and reflect the importance that the Government places on the inclusion of persons with disabilities.

Under the 40-year-old policy, applicants could be found medically inadmissible to Canada based on a set of criteria out of step with a 21st century approach to persons with disabilities.

Most of those affected are individuals who would otherwise be approved in the economic immigration class, and selected for the benefit their skills will bring to the Canadian economy.

While the number of refusals under this provision was not high, it resulted in cases where applicants or their children were refused despite the fact their health condition or disability was one readily accommodated in Canadian society.

The new policy on medical inadmissibility strikes a balance between protecting publicly funded health and social services and updating the policy to bring it in line with current views on the inclusion of persons with disabilities. The changes include:

  • increasing the cost threshold for medical inadmissibility to 3 times the previous level, and
  • amending the definition of social services by removing references to special education, social and vocational rehabilitation services and personal support services.

For more information, read the official press release.

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