Medical inadmissibilityCanada is known for its high standard of living and quality of life, with a publicly funded healthcare system and laws in place to protect the rights of people with disabilities. This can be attractive if you have medical issues and require access to a range of resources to manage your condition.

Migrating to Canada is not always easy, particularly if you have medical issues, and people wishing to migrate must undergo a medical exam by an approved physician. The country has strict immigration policies, and medical issues can sometimes be a barrier to entry. It is important to research the requirements for immigration and consult with a qualified Canadian immigration lawyer to help you navigate the process. Let’s examine why a candidate may be considered medically inadmissible.

Medical Inadmissibility Rules

Medical inadmissibility rules are regulations the Canadian government sets to determine whether a foreign national is allowed to enter or stay in the country based on their medical conditions. These rules are in place to protect public health and ensure that newcomers do not burden the healthcare system.

Under these rules, a foreign national may be deemed medically inadmissible if they have a medical condition likely to:

  • endanger public health,
  • endanger public safety, or
  • cause excessive demand on health or social services

Danger to Public Health

Your immigration application could be denied if you have a highly infectious and easily transmissible disease. The term “highly infectious and easily transmissible” refers to a disease’s ability to spread easily from one person to another. These diseases are highly contagious and can be transmitted in various ways, like through respiratory droplets, bodily fluids or contact with contaminated surfaces.

For example, a person with an active case of tuberculosis, mumps or ebola would be considered medically inadmissible because these diseases are highly contagious and easily transmissible.

Danger to Public Safety 

Your application could also be refused if you have a health condition that could threaten public safety. Mental health issues that include harmful behaviours like violence or self-harming may be considered a risk to public safety.

A history of substance abuse, addiction or dependence can also be considered a risk, as it could lead to behaviours that harm others or cause disruptions in society.

Excessive Demand on Health and Social Services 

According to Canadian immigration law, individuals can be denied permanent residency if they are likely to exceed Canada’s demand threshold.

As of September 2021, the excessive demand threshold for most applicants is $33,275 per year over five years. So, if an individual’s medical condition requires significant medical attention, treatment or hospitalization resulting in costs exceeding this amount, their application for permanent residency may be denied.


Not all medical conditions automatically disqualify someone from immigrating to Canada. Each case is evaluated based on a candidate’s situation. There are exceptions for applicants with a family member who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and for applicants whose excessive demand is considered mitigated by certain factors – like their ability to pay for their medical expenses.

If someone is found medically inadmissible, they may be able to apply for a temporary resident permit to overcome the inadmissibility. These permits are granted on a case-by-case basis and are usually issued for a limited period, during which the person must comply with certain conditions.

Canadian Immigration Lawyer in Vancouver

Medical inadmissibility is a complex area of Canadian immigration law. An experienced lawyer can help you through applying for permanent residency when you have medical issues. They can also provide guidance on the documentation you need to submit to support your case.

With over 29 years of experience, the immigration lawyers at Goldman Associates can guide you through the immigration process and advise on the best course of action for your unique situation.

Visit our scheduling page to book a consultation or call our office at 1 (604) 900-3259.