Canada plans on changing its policy of refusing immigrants who are likely to cause “excessive demand” on health and social services. The need to change the medical inadmissibility rules was raised in front of the Parliament’s Standing Committee on Immigration by Canada’s Immigration Minister, Ahmed Hussen. He said that the current rules are out of touch with Canadian values and need to be reformed; adding that these changes were necessary and long overdue. “From a principled perspective, the current excessive demand provision simply does not align with our country’s values and the inclusion of persons with disabilities in Canadian society,” he said.
A number of changes have been considered, including adjusting the cost threshold and implementing changes in the groups who have been exempted from this provision.
Canada’s current policy of refusing immigrants based on their likelihood of causing excessive demand for health and social services is more than 40 years old and needs to be amended according to the 21st century, according to Hussen.
As per Section 38-1C of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, excessive demand means one “for which the anticipated costs would likely exceed average Canadian per capita health services and social services” over a period of five consecutive years immediately following the most recent medical assessment. In some cases, the time period was extended to 10 consecutive years. Exemptions have also been given in cases of Family Sponsorship for a sponsor’s spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner and dependent child. In 2017, the cost threshold to be considered as excessive demand was $33,275 over five years or $6,655 per year.
However, Hussen has made it clear that the medical examination for applicants, which is a part of the Canadian Immigration visa process, will remain intact.
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