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J Immigr Health. 2005 Oct;7(4):247-58.

Intersection of Canadian policy parameters affecting women with precarious immigration status: a baseline for understanding barriers to health.

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  • 1Centre de recherche interdisciplinaire sur la violence familiale et la violence faite aux femmes, Université de Montréal, Case postale 0128, succursale Centre-ville Montréal, QC Canada, H3C 3J7.


Canadian federal policy provides a framework for the immigration and health experiences of immigrant women. The official immigration category under which a migrant is admitted determines to what degree her right to remain in the country (immigration status) is precarious. Women immigrants fall primarily into the more dependent categories and they experience barriers to access to health services arising from this precarious status. Federal immigration and health policies create direct barriers to health through regulation of immigrants' access to services as well as unintended secondary barriers. These direct and secondary policy barriers intersect with each other and with socio-cultural barriers arising from the migrant's socioeconomic and ethno-cultural background to undermine equitable access to health for immigrant women living in Canada.

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