Understanding Medical Inadmissibility: Navigating Canada’s Immigration Health Requirements

When applying for entry into Canada, whether to visit, study, work, or settle permanently, meeting the medical admissibility standards is crucial. At Hummel Law, we understand that navigating these regulations can be complex. This comprehensive guide will help you understand the medical inadmissibility rules, which are pivotal in ensuring the health and safety of Canadian residents.

What is Medical Inadmissibility?

Medical inadmissibility in Canada refers to conditions under which a person may be denied entry or residency based on their health status. These rules are in place to protect Canadian public health and safety and to ensure that newcomers do not place an excessive demand on Canada’s health or social services.

1. Danger to Public Health:

Applicants might be considered a danger to public health if their condition poses a risk of spreading infectious diseases within Canada. This determination is based on the results of the immigration medical exam, laboratory test results, and specialist reports requested by medical officers. Conditions such as active tuberculosis or syphilis, or close contact with others with an infectious disease, are thus scrutinized closely.

2. Danger to Public Safety:

This pertains to conditions that may lead to sudden loss of physical and mental abilities or result in unpredictable or violent behavior, thus posing a threat to public safety. The assessment is based on the comprehensive immigration medical exam.

3. Excessive Demand on Health or Social Services:

An application might be refused if it is believed that the individual’s health condition could lead to excessive demand on health or social services in Canada. This is assessed based on:

  • The potential negative impact on wait times for services in Canada.
  • The cost of treating and managing the health condition, especially if it is likely to exceed the excessive demand cost threshold.

The cost threshold for 2024 is set at $131,100 over 5 years, or $26,220 per year.

Exceptions to the Rules:

It bears noting that medical inadmissibility rules for excessive demand do not apply to refugees, protected persons, and certain family-sponsored individuals such as dependent children, spouses, and common-law partners.

Procedural Fairness Letter:

If there’s a possibility of medical inadmissibility, applicants will receive a procedural fairness letter outlining the concerns. This letter allows applicants to respond and provide additional information or evidence regarding their health condition, the required medication and services, and the associated costs. It’s essential to respond within 90 days from the date of the letter, and Hummel Law can provide expert advice or representation to help you respond effectively.

Mitigation Plan for Excessive Demand:

In certain cases, applicants might be invited to submit a mitigation plan if their health condition is believed to cause excessive demand on health or social services. This plan should detail how the applicant intends to mitigate the potential impact on Canadian services. It is important that this plan be prepared with the requisite professional assistance.

How Hummel Law Can Help:

Navigating the intricacies of medical inadmissibility can be challenging. Hummel Law is here to guide you through every step of the process. Our expertise in Canadian immigration law ensures that you have the best possible advice and representation, helping you to respond to procedural fairness letters effectively or to prepare a robust mitigation plan if required.

In the past, we have helped our clients in the following ways:

  • Hemophilia: Individuals applying for Canadian permanent residency received a procedural fairness letter from IRCC, alleging that they may be medically inadmissible because their minor son was a hemophiliac, who may cause an excessive strain on Ontario’s healthcare system. We worked closely with them, along with Hemophilia Canada, to ensure that not only could we put together an effective mitigation plan, but also to ensure that the government was aware of the true cost of the medication, the fact that the child’s best interests would be in Canada, and we made submissions on humanitarian and compassionate grounds, asserting that he was best served in Canada. The application was successful.
  • Multiple sclerosis: A client’s husband received a procedural fairness letter, noting that he may be medically inadmissible on account of a recent diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS). We did substantial research on the true impact of MS on the healthcare system, showed the services that he was still eligible for at home, and obtained letters from medical professionals noting that his case was mild, and unlikely to be a significant strain. This case was also approved.
  • Kidney disease: A couple from Brazil, in Canada on work permits, received a procedural fairness letter as part of their permanent residency application. The wife’s kidney condition was flagged in her medical assessment, and it was alleged that her medical care would be an excessive drain on Canada’s healthcare service. We worked together with her to demonstrate that she already had a kidney donor lined up in Brazil, that Brazil’s healthcare system, and the health insurance she has there, would cover the post-surgery care, and we demonstrated that with the new kidney, she would no longer require Canadian medical services. This application was also approved.


Medical inadmissibility doesn’t always mean the end of your Canadian dream. With the right approach and professional guidance, many hurdles can be overcome. If you’re facing challenges related to medical inadmissibility or have concerns about how your health may impact your immigration application, reach out to Hummel Law. We’re here to support and guide you towards a successful resolution, ensuring your journey to Canada is as smooth and stress-free as possible.

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