There are chances that you will be required by the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to complete a medical exam before you arrive if you want to immigrate to Canada or obtain a work or study permit. If you are applying for permanent or temporary residence as a worker, student, or visitor, you are required to take this exam.
The essence of this article is to give answers to questions you may have about medical exams for Canadian immigration.
What does a medical exam entail for Canadian immigration?
A medical exam in this context signifies the examination of a person’s health usually carried out by a panel physician who has been authorized by IRCC and the essence of this examination is to decide whether there are any medical reasons why an applicant should be refused immigration status in Canada.
The following are included in an IRCC-approved medical; a physical examination, a personal medical history questionnaire, and other possible tests as resolved to be significant by your panel physician. You may be referred to a specialist for extra testing if your physician requires additional information about your health. Legally, you are entitled to bring along with you a chaperone to your appointment, if you wish.
Before getting to your medical exam, make sure you bring with you appropriate means of identification like a passport and/or other government-issued identification, and also information concerning your health (eyeglasses, list of medications you’re taking, and so on).
Some Canadian immigration programs allow you to conduct your medical exam before applying, while some will demand that you complete the exam after you’ve applied (the IRCC in these cases will contact you and you will be given a deadline to complete the exam).
Why the medical exam is a prerequisite for entering Canada
As we have stated earlier, the preliminary objective of the medical exam is to make sure that a person is medically admissible to Canada.
If after the medical examination, it is discovered that a person poses a threat to the health or safety of Canadian residents, or that the medical condition of such person might be a burden on the Canadian health care system financially since the health care and social services are universal and publicly funded for all citizens and permanent residents, and also some temporary resident, or if they are considered to negatively affect wait times for Canadians, the immigration application could be declined.
Who are those required to take a medical exam to immigrate to Canada?
The requirements vary based on if the applicant is applying for temporary residence (students, workers, and visitors) or permanent residence.
As for temporary residents intending to stay for a minimum of six months or less: a medical exam is not required of you unless you intend to work in a specific type of job which includes positions in which is mandatory for public health to be protected, like jobs that allow you to have close contact with people and examples of such jobs are:
- If you work in health care settings;
- If you are a clinical laboratory worker;
- If you attend to patients in nursing and geriatric homes;
- If you are admitted to Canada to attend university as a medical student;
- If you are a medical elective and physician on short-term locums;
- If you have a job in a primary and secondary school setting and work in child-care settings;
- If you are a domestic staff;
- If you are one of the workers who give in-home care to children, the elderly as well as the disabled;
- If you are a daycare employee;
- If you are an agricultural worker from specific countries/territories.
We are yet to exhaust the list, therefore, there are applicants with other job titles who may be required to take a medical exam.
Furthermore, if as an agricultural worker, you have visited or worked in some countries for a minimum of six months within the past year, you will be required to undergo a medical exam.
For temporary residents who intend to stay for six months or more: If you meet one of these conditions, a medical exam will be required:
- If you have resided in or visited one of these countries for a minimum duration of six months within the earlier year.
- If you intend to work in a job where the protection of public health is mandatory.
- If you are one of those applying for a grand-parent or parent super visa.
As for permanent resident applicants: All permanent resident applicants including accompanying partners, spouses, and dependent children are usually required to undergo a medical exam. Nevertheless, a temporary policy that excludes some low-risk applicants is in effect until the 28th of December, 2021, and this policy apply to:
- In-Canada applicants who have presented a new application for a permanent resident visa or have an application for permanent residence that is pending and are yet to complete a new immigration medical exam
- In-Canada applicants who have concluded an immigration medical exam within the past five years and were discovered to pose no risk to public health or safety, or concede to a requirement that states that they should report to public health authorities for monitoring,
- In-Canada applicants who have not exited Canada for more than six months in the past year to reside in a country known to have a higher incidence of severe transmissible disease as listed among the countries that require an immigration medical exam.
If accompanying family members meet the criteria and also reside in Canada, they may be qualified under this temporary exemption.
In a situation whereby you do not meet any of the aforementioned conditions, you are expected to undergo a medical exam.
Which doctor is authorized to take your IRCC medical exam?
Only an IRCC-authorized panel physician is permitted to complete your medical exam. That being said, your personal doctor is not allowed to complete the exam (unless he/she is listed as a panel physician, which is very rare). You can utilize the IRCC’s tool to locate a panel physician closest to you.
How much will it cost me to undergo the medical exam for Canadian immigration?
Please note that the medical exam cost differs from country to country, therefore, you have to contact your panel physician to know what it will cost you to complete the examination.
The results of an IRCC medical exam can be valid for how long?
Results from the IRCC medical exam can only be valid for one year starting from the date of the exam. You are expected to complete a new exam if your results are older than this.
In conclusion, this article is an expository one because it answers all the questions you may have about a medical exam for Canadian immigration.