Will a past serious medical condition make me inadmissible to Canada?

Julia Hornstein
Published: June 8, 2023

Every applicant looking to get a Canadian immigration visa are required to undergo a medical examination, which are generally physical exams including blood tests, urine tests and x-rays.

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Applicants may be deemed medically inadmissible to Canada under two conditions:

  • The application has a medical condition that might reasonably be expected to endanger the health or safety of the Canadian population at large; or
  • The applications admission to Canada might be reasonably expected to cause excessive demand on Canada’s publicly funded health and social services

When determining whether a person is medically inadmissible to Canada, the medical professional will consider the nature, severity, and probable duration of any health impairment that the applicant is suffering from.

Excessive demand cost threshold

An applicant’s 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.

The excessive demand cost threshold is an amount that was determined by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that is used to decide if the cost of the applicant’s condition will place an excessive demand on Canada’s health care and social services.

In 2018, the Canadian government announced that it was increasing the threshold amount. In 2022, the cost threshold was $120,285 over 5 years. This amount is three times the Canadian average cost of health and social services.

What to do if you have a past serious health condition?

It is important to bring all medical records, reports, or test results that you have for any previous or existing medical conditions. You will be required to complete a medical questionnaire and it is important to be honest with the physician about any existing and previous conditions.

It is up to the discretion of the medical professional to determine, based on the information you provide, and the results of the examination, if your past serious conditions are likely to cause excessive demands on health or social services.

If you receive a procedural fairness letter

After your medical examination, IRCC will send you a letter if you may be medically inadmissible, explaining the reasons why. This letter is sent before a decision is made on your application and you would have the opportunity to submit information to IRCC in response.

If you have received a procedural fairness letter, it is suggested that you consult a medical inadmissibility expert that can help you respond to IRCC and increase the likelihood that you are granted medical admissibility status.

Mitigation plans

IRCC invites some applicants whose health condition might cause excessive demand on Canada’s health and social services to send a mitigation plan. This plan will explain how the applicants' condition will not cause an excessive demand on health or social services, including how you will support future expenses related to your health conditions.

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