Canada Immigration – Medical Issues Part 2


In a previous post, I discussed the types of medical conditions that could prevent you from entering Canada or immigrating to Canada.

In this post, I’ll discuss some options you may have if you have a medical condition.

What If My Condition Is Considered To Be “Excessive Demand”?

Once your medical is completed, the results are forwarded to a visa officer at Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

The visa officer will review the report and make a decision regarding your condition and the excessive demand it will place on Canada’s health or social service system.

If the visa officer determines that your condition falls under the “excessive demand” category, he or she will write to you and advise you of this decision

At this point, you will have an opportunity to respond before a final decision on your eligibility will be made.

There are 2 approaches you can take depending on your circumstances, discussed below.

Show Your Ability To Pay For Services

There are several court cases that hold that as an applicant, you can provide evidence that you will mitigate (reduce) the costs of social services and health care to the point where they are no longer “excessive” costs to the social system (in particular, the Supreme Court of Canada case of Hilewitz v. M.C.I. (2005) is very instructive).

The visa officer is required to consider the evidence you put forward in terms of reducing costs to the system by paying for social services.  You must show ability and intent to pay for such services.

For ability to pay, you should show financial assets, cash on hand, any private insurance policies, court awards and so forth.

Put forward as much evidence as you can to show you have the ability to pay for health or social service costs.

For intent to pay, you could provide an affidavit swearing your intent to pay for certain services once you arrive in Canada.

More than that, if you have been paying for social or health services prior to your arrival in Canada, it is critical to provide evidence of this (receipts or letters from a health care or service provider would be ideal).

Another thing to consider is your destination in Canada.  You must show that your destination has service providers available for you to hire!

For example, if you plan to move to a small town outside of the large urban centers, there may be no qualified service providers for you to hire, and thus you won’t be able to make the case that your condition will not pose an excessive demand to the public system.

Larger urban centers (the major cities of Canada) have far more service and health providers, and would be a good destination of you have a medical condition that requires assistance and treatment over time.

The service providers must also be qualified to assist you.

The types of services required are entirely dependent on your individual circumstances.

For example, they may include home care services, specialized education services, rehabilitation or personal support services – anything required to help you function physically, emotionally or socially.

So given the above, your response to an “excessive demand” finding should be the following:

  • Ability to pay to mitigate costs (showing as many financial assets as you can).
  • Evidence of your intent to pay (for example, paying for service in the past or providing an affidavit from yourself or family members).
  • Listing the health or social services you required (for example, home care service or even family support).
  • Listing the health or social services offered in the city in which you plan to live, and providing their qualifications (for example, showing the service providers meet provincial standards of care).
  • Providing a letter from a service provider (if possible) indicating they are able and willing to provide service to you.
  • If you will be using family support, you will absolutely need affidavits from those family members indicating they are willing and able to provide the support needed.
  • Listing the detailed costs of the service and how it will reduce the costs on Canada’s social health and service system.
  • If possible, backup your submission with an opinion from a doctor or other health professional indicating your plan is feasible.

The visa officer should send you a “Declaration of Ability and Intent” document that you will sign and include with all of your evidence.

If you require more time to gather your evidence, be sure to contact the visa officer as soon as possible to ask for an extension and given him or her a date when you expect to have collected all the evidence you need.

Get Another Medical Opinion

This option is entirely dependent on your circumstances.  If you absolutely can not show an ability and intent to mitigate costs (as discussed above), your only option is to get another medical opinion.

You should discuss the situation with another designated medical practitioner and see if he or she will support your argument that in fact your condition will not impose an excessive demand on the system.

This approach is not nearly as effective as showing you have an intent and ability to pay, but if you have no other options, it is worth trying.

You can of course appeal the decision to the courts if you are ultimately denied.

What If My Condition Is Considered To Be A Danger To Public Health Or Safety?

There are very few applicants denied entry based on a medical condition considered to be a danger to public health or safety.

If this is the case, you do not have many options.  You should seek another medical opinion from a designated medical practitioner if you believe your condition does not pose a danger to public health or safety.

Failing that, you could appeal to the courts.

If you are dealing with a medical issue, you should contact a Canada immigration lawyer for assistance.

About the author

Gianpaolo Panusa Gianpaolo Panusa is a Canadian immigration lawyer, writer, and founder of the PanCanadian Immigration Law Group based in Vancouver, Canada. Google+ Profile