Medical Inadmissibility In Canada PR Applications

There are four grounds on which an applicant may become inadmissible for Canada immigration visa: Health, Security, Financial inability and Misrepresentation. The final process in a Canada PR application is health and security checks. Any applicant who fails medical or security checks fails to get Canada immigration status and is inadmissible into Canada. This article is aimed at providing reasons and remedies for medical inadmissibility.

Canada Immigration

What are the reasons for Canada immigration visa refusal on medical grounds?

There are three grounds on which an application for Canadian permanent residence may be denied on health grounds: An applicant’s health condition may be

1) danger to public health due to communicable disease.

2) danger to public safety due to mental disorder and

3) may impose excessive burden on Canadian healthcare and social services.

  1. Danger to public health
  • Active Pulmonary Tuberculosis (TB) and untreated Syphilis are considered a danger to public health unless they are treated according to Canadian standards; HIV positive is not considered danger to health.
  • In cases of inactive Pulmonary Tuberculosis (TB) and/or adequately treated syphilis, the officer may grant visa and put conditions on the applicant for medical surveillance or medication  in Canada.
  1. Danger to public safety

Serious uncontrolled and/or uncontrollable mental health problems such as:

  • certain impulsive sociopathic behaviour disorders;
  • some aberrant sexual disorders such as pedophilia;
  • certain paranoid states or some organic brain syndromes associated with violence or risk of harm to others;
  • applicants with substance abuse leading to antisocial behaviours such as violence, and impaired driving; and
  • other types of hostile, disruptive behaviour.
  1. 3.      Excessive demand on Canadian health care or social services


  • This provision is not applicable on a convention refugee or a spouse and a child of a sponsor. The spouse or a child of an inadmissible person is also exempt from this provision.

If an applicant is likely to impose a burden on Canadian health care or social services, he or she may be inadmissible. Excessive health care demand means expenditure more than the average health care costs of Canadians. For year 2013, the per capita health and social services cost for Canadians is $6285 per year. This amount is multiplied by the number of years required in the medical assessment for health care and social services,which is usually 5 years but not more than 10 years. Thus an applicant who is likely to spend more than $31,425 in 5 years on health care and social services will be inadmissible.

The ability and intent to defray the costs of health and social services by opting out of public services and availability of private insurance in some provinces is a positive factor to be considered by the officer. This factor is only relevant in out-patient health care and it is not relevant in publically funded in-patient health care since there is no cost recovery mechanism.(Deol v. Canada (M.C.I.) 2002 FCA 271 (ability to defray health care costs in in-patient cases irrelevant factor since most health care services are government funded, without cost recovery provisions), Companioni v. Canada (M.C.I.) 2009 FC 1315 (ability to defray health care and social services costs relevant factor in out-patient cases, if the applicant has ability to opt out of publically funded health care medication system by private insurance or otherwise), Hilewitz v. Canada (M.C.I.); De Jong v. Canada (M.C.I.) 2005 SCC 57, Colaco v. Canada (M.C.I.) 2007 FCA 282) (ability to defray social services costs is relevant factor).


Canada PR Applications to get Canada immigration status

Canada PR Applications to get Canada immigration status


Is a principal applicant inadmissible due to inadmissibility of his spouse or child on health grounds?

Yes, an inadmissible spouse or child of a principal applicant renders him or her inadmissible as well.

What is the procedure for medical refusals?

In every medical refusal, the officer gives 60 day notice to the applicant to comment on medical refusal before making a final decision. The applicant can request extension of time to collect necessary information and the officer may or may not grant extension. The officer must consider an applicant’s comments as per the provisions of Immigration to Canada and Refugee Protection Act and its regulations (IRPA).

What are the powers of or guidelines for an immigration officer?


The IRPA regulations 31 mandate that, an officer who is assessing the foreign national’s health condition shall consider

(a) Any report made by a health practitioner or medical laboratory with respect to the foreign national;

(b) The communicability of any disease that the foreign national is affected by or carries; and

(c) The impact that the disease could have on other persons living in Canada.

The IRPA regulation 32 mandates that an officer may impose, vary or cancel the following conditions in respect of any foreign national who is required to submit to a medical examination:

(a) to report at the specified times and places for medical examination, surveillance or treatment; and

(b) to provide proof, at the specified times and places, of compliance with the conditions imposed.


Excessive demand

If a condition requires more than $31425 on health care and social services, it is likely to result in Canada visa refusal on medical grounds. The convention refugees or spouses and children of a sponsor are exempted from this provision. For out-patient applicants, the cost mitigating capacity of an applicant can be considered. For in-patient applicants, the cost mitigating factor is irrelevant since there is no mechanism for cost recovery for government funded public health care system in Canada.

Danger to Public health

If an applicant has inactive TB or adequately treated Syphilis, the officer may grant Canada Immigration visa on conditions of medical surveillance in Canada. HIV is also not considered danger to public health, if spouses of HIV positive applicants are informed of this condition.

If an applicant has active TB or untreated Syphilis, the Canada immigration visa may be refused unless an applicant can be treated according to Canadian standards.


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