All Admissibility FAQ

1. What is admissibility?

For refugee resettlement, admissibility are statutory requirements which determine whether an applicant is allowed to enter Canada. Admissibility consists of medical, security, and criminality screenings. These screenings are conducted by the Canadian visa office after a positive decision has been made on the basis of the application and/or interview with the refugee applicant(s). Examples of reasons for inadmissibility include the individual posing a threat to national security, having a history of serious or organized crime, having committed violations of international or human rights, being a danger to public health (e.g. drug-resistant TB).

2. The refugee applicant was in the military – is this a problem?

Not necessarily. Inadmissibility due to previous military involvement depends on the role, rank and responsibilities that the refugee applicant had at the time of their involvement. Generally, people who have committed serious human rights violations, crimes against humanity or war crimes are not admissible. The Canadian government has designated certain regimes as perpetrators of gross human rights violations. Senior officials of designated regimes may consequently be considered inadmissible to Canada.

3. If the refugee applicant has a medical condition, will he/she be rejected?

It depends on the medical condition. In the case of resettled refugees, persons who have a condition that is considered a health threat or a danger to the health and/or safety of the Canadian public may not be permitted to be resettled to Canada (e.g. drug-resistant TB).

4. What if the refugee applicant is HIV/Aids positive?

A refugee applicant who is HIV/Aids positive is not automatically inadmissible on medical grounds. Applicants who are HIV/Aids positive will receive a ‘Health Follow-up Handout: HIV Infection” from the designated medical practitioner which includes information about HIV and advises the applicant to contact a health clinic specializing in HIV/Aids care once in Canada. The refugee applicant will also receive HIV post-test counselling where medical follow-up and care in Canada are discussed with the patient.

5. Why do refugee applicants have to undergo a criminality screening?

The Canadian Government conducts criminality checks for refugee applicants to determine whether the applicant has been convicted of any crimes or has committed any acts or omissions that would make him/her inadmissible to Canada.

6. For the criminality check, is the refugee applicant required to request a police reference clearance/check from their country of origin?

No, the refugee applicant is not expected to do this because doing so might put them at risk of persecution. A Canadian visa officer might, however, request that the applicant obtain a police clearance from the current country of residence. An inability to provide such a clearance will not result in a rejection of the refugee sponsorship case if the refugee applicant is able to provide a reason for it. Failure to provide a reason or explanation may raise concerns about the credibility of the refugee applicant.

7. What is a security check?

A security check is conducted by the Canadian Government to identify persons who may pose a risk to Canada’s security. Refugee applicants who are deemed to have been or still are members of terrorist organizations and persons who have committed serious human rights violations, crimes against humanity or war crimes are not admissible to Canada (i.e. are not allowed to enter and live in Canada). Additionally, the Canadian government has designated certain regimes as perpetrators of gross human rights violations. Persons who were senior officials of designated regimes may subsequently be considered inadmissible to Canada.

8. If principal refugee applicant or one of the other family members on the refugee sponsorship undertaking is found to be inadmissible, can we still go ahead and sponsor the rest of the refugee family?

No, under Article 42 of the IRPA, if one of the applicants (principal or dependants) is found inadmissible, all of the family members included in the refugee sponsorship application (accompanying or nonaccompanying) are considered inadmissible and will not be able to be sponsored.