Earlier this week, the Canadian government announced a measure on the immigration system that was described as “from another era.”

The Minister of Immigration, Ahmed Hussen , confirmed that the parameters to reject an immigrant for health reasons were modified so as not to make them so strict, especially with people with disabilities.

“The changes announced today (Monday) are a major step forward in making our immigration system more inclusive for people with disabilities , and one that reflects Canadian values,” Minister Hussen said in a statement.

Specifically, the liberal government measure modifies the parameters on which an agent can deny a request for permanent residence for health reasons, arguing that this person will represent a burden for the health system of the country.

One of the changes is that it triples the cost limit that a potential immigrant will generate to the health system before being rejected. The other change is that the definition of “social services” is modified so that it does not include special education, personal support services, social and vocational rehabilitation services.

This means that the potential use of these services, and the burden they will generate in the health system, will not be taken into account when analyzing a request for permanent residence.

The statement from the Federal Government points out the policies that were in effect until this week were 40 years old , “and do not match the 21st century approach to people with disabilities.”

The authorities also clarify that the number of people who are rejected every year for this type of reasons is minimal, but they hope to reduce it even more. In fact, the Federal Government confirms that this is the first step before completely eliminating immigration rejections linked to medical or developmental disabilities.

This is something that the House of Commons Committee itself recommended in its most recent report. Minister Hussen points out that he will work together with the provinces and territories to completely eliminate these immigration restrictions.

The face of change

The reform announced this week is not only a product of the political will of the current government, it is also a result of the efforts of an American family that sees its dream of moving to Canada disappear.

In 2013 Karissa and Jon Warkentin , originally from Colorado, moved to Manitoba with the aim of installing a tourist accommodation center. At the same time they started their application for permanent residency.

However, in April of last year they were informed that their application had been rejected. The reason? The fact that her six-year-old daughter suffered from epilepsy and Global Delay of Development .

The Warkentin did their best to call the attention of the authorities, and finally in December, with the intervention of Minister Hussen, they managed to reverse the decision, which motivated the Federal Government to hasten the changes.

In fact, the local media reports that the minister called Jon Warkentin directly before making the announcement to inform him of the changes, which will allow many families not to have to go through a similar experience.

Each year, some 1000 people are rejected as permanent residents for medical reasons, representing 0.2% of all candidates who undergo medical examinations.

Normally the reason given is the high costs that these people will generate to the health system, however, the Ministry of Immigration says that what the State saves by not accepting these people is just 0.1% of all expenses in the area of health.

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