Kidney Disease Diagnosis Was Given Six Months After Arrival in Canada

A woman from the Philippines who has been living and working as a childcare provider in Canada for the past three years is likely to be deemed medically inadmissible and therefore ineligible for permanent residence after being diagnosed with kidney disease.

According to CBC News, Kherin Dimalanta first arrived in Canada in 2017 after applying for a live-in caregiver visa. Her goal was to work as a live-in nanny and eventually apply for permanent residency, so she could arrange to have her own children come live with her in Canada.

Since her arrival, she has been caring for the children of two doctors currently working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unfortunately, though, six months after her arrival, Dimalanta was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. Even though she had been working and paying taxes in Canada for months before her illness was discovered, she is likely to be deemed medically inadmissible to Canada and unable to obtain permanent resident status due to this inadmissibility, unless she is granted an exemption from this inadmissibility.

“It just turned my life upside down,” Dimalanta told CBC in an interview. “I feel like I don’t have the right to dream anymore.”

What it Means to be Medically Inadmissible

According to Canadian immigration law, a permanent residence applicant can be found medically inadmissible to Canada if their medical costs exceed $21,204 a year.

In Dimalanta’s case, her dialysis treatments are estimated to cost $40,000 a year, which is nearly twice the annual health-care cost threshold set by the federal government.

If forced to return to the Philippines, she would not be able to afford the cost of dialysis treatment. Without treatment, doctors have told her she would likely die from her condition.

Her employer, Dr. Cathy Kyeremanteng, told CBC that Dimalanta should be exempt from inadmissibility because she had already been living and working in Canada prior to her diagnosis.

“She fell sick while she was here, by no fault of her own,” said Kyeremanteng. “How could Canada send somebody home to die in front of their children, just because we have to pay for the medical treatment?

Next Steps

Dimalanta has applied for Permanent Residence on humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) grounds. The H&C application is a permanent residence pathway available for people who have made Canada their home and established close ties to their community, but are unable to apply for permanent residence through other channels or are inadmissible to Canada, including for reasons of medical inadmissibility.

This requires applicants to demonstrate that they have compelling and compassionate reasons for remaining in Canada based on a variety of factors, including hardship they would suffer in their home country.

Two years have passed since Dimalanta’s H&C application was submitted, but no decision has been made. In the meantime, she has applied for a temporary resident permit and an open work permit.  This application also continues to be in processing, and Dimalanta has “implied status” with which she can continue to live and work in Canada while she waits for a decision on her applications.  However, she cannot leave Canada without risking that she won’t be allowed back in, and as a result, she has not been able to see her children in nearly four years.  She must also appeal to the Ontario Health Insurance Plan review committee every few months to continue receiving health coverage.