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Medical Inadmissibility in Canadian Immigration

During your journey to Canadian immigration, medical inadmissibility can become a significant hurdle. While criminal convictions often come to mind when discussing inadmissibility, health-related concerns are critical in determining entry into the country. All Canadian permanent residents and certain temporary status applicants must undergo a mandatory medical examination, making it imperative for immigration candidates to understand and address medical inadmissibility.


While there are no specific medical conditions that automatically render an applicant inadmissible to Canada, medical inadmissibility is evaluated based on three principles:

1. Danger to Public Health

Assessment is made through medical exam results and the applicant’s health history.

2. Danger to Public Safety

Authorities consider the potential for sudden mental or physical incapacity and the risk of unpredictable or violent behaviour.

3. Excessive Demand on Services

Evaluated based on the belief that an individual’s health condition could strain Canada’s health and social services, exceeding the cost threshold. According to IRCC, the 2024 Cost Threshold is $131,100 over 5 years (or $26,220 per year)

Exemptions from Excessive Demand Rules

Certain groups, such as refugees and their dependents, protected persons, and specific family sponsorship applicants, are exempt from Canada’s medical inadmissibility rules for excessive demand. 


Family sponsorship applicants are not subject to the excessive demand component when adjudicating medical admissibility. However, applicants can still be rejected if their medical condition poses a danger to Canadian public health or safety.

Overcoming Medical Inadmissibility

Individuals deemed ‘medically inadmissible to Canada’ due to certain health conditions can overcome this obstacle. The process involves providing necessary documentation and navigating the complexities of the Canadian immigration system.

1. Seeking Legal Assistance

Experienced Canadian immigration lawyers play a crucial role in helping applicants understand and navigate medical inadmissibility. They assist with document preparation, avoid application errors, and communicate with the Canadian government on behalf of the applicant.

2. Medical Examination Process

Every person applying to immigrate to Canada, permanently or temporarily, must undergo a medical examination by an approved physician. The examination includes standard physical tests such as blood and urine tests, x-rays, and a review of medical records, including mental health records.

Health Conditions Leading to Inadmissibility

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) lists various health conditions that may lead to medical refusal, which include but are not limited to:

  • untreated syphilis
  • active pulmonary tuberculosis
  • hostile or disruptive behaviour
  • organic brain disorders or paranoid states linked to violent behaviour
  • substance abuse issues that can cause anti-social behaviour, such as impaired driving or violence
  • sexual disorders such as pedophilia
  • impulsive sociopathic behavioural conditions
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cancers
  • Autoimmune Diseases (ex. AIDS, Lupus)
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Autism
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Down Syndrome
  • Hepatitis B & C
  • Liver Disease


Policy Changes:

The government of Canada has been discussing potential policy changes, including a proposed increase in the annual cost threshold, which could impact the inadmissibility status of certain health conditions.

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