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Canada revises medical inadmissibility rules

Saskatchewan

Canada has revised the controversial medical inadmissibility rules for immigrants and this move is expected to bring down the number of refusals of the applications for permanent or temporary residence. Now on, applicants won’t be denied permanent residency on the ground that they or any of their children have developmental delays, special education requirements, or hearing or visual impairment.
As part of the changes, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has tripled the cost threshold for excessive demand cases. In 2017, the cost threshold was $6,655 per year, or $33,275 for five years. Now the cost threshold would be $19,965 per year.  According to IRCC, this change is expected to “dispense with the majority of medical inadmissibility cases seen in Canada today.”

IRCC is also changing the definition of social services as it is removing the references to special education, social and vocational rehabilitation services and personal support services. These changes would help applicants with visual and hearing impairments, among others.
The medical admissibility is determined on the basis of whether an anticipated costs are expected to exceed the average Canadian per-capita cost of health or social services over a five-year period, or whether the immigrant could add to an existing waiting list and delay health care for Canadian citizens or permanent residents. According to data from IRCC, around a 1000 applicants for permanent or temporary residence are found inadmissible every year.
Canada’s Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said in a statement, “The changes we are announcing today are a major step toward ensuring our immigration system is more inclusive of persons with disabilities, and reflects the values of Canadians.”
The old policy had drawn much criticism, as being at odds with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The inadmissibility rules have been in place for 40 years now and Mr Hussen said that the old policy was “way out of date” and not in line with Canadian values.
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