If you want to immigrate to Canada or obtain a work or study permit, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) may require you to take a medical exam before you arrive. Exams like this one are needed in most applications for permanent residence, as well as in some of those for temporary residence (including student visas and guest visas).
For details on Canadian immigration medical exams, check out this post.
What is the purpose of a medical exam for immigration to Canada?
An IRCC-approved panel physician conducts the medical examination required for Canadian immigration. This examination is performed to determine whether an applicant should be denied entry to Canada for medical reasons.
You will be required to complete a personal medical history questionnaire and undergo a physical examination as part of an IRCC-approved medical assessment. Your doctor can send you for additional tests to a specialist if they feel they need more information about your health. If you like, you may bring a parent or guardian with you to your appointment.
Take proper identification, such as a passport or other official government-issued identification, and health-related information (a list of your current prescriptions, eyeglasses, etc.) with you to your medical checkup.
To apply work permit in Canada, you have the option to finish the medical examination in advance, but this is not always the case (in such cases, it will be your responsibility to complete the test by the time specified by IRCC).
Why does Canada mandate a medical examination?
The primary goal of the examination is to determine an individual’s medical eligibility to enter Canada. An application for immigration may be denied if the applicant is found to be a danger to the general public’s health and safety or to the health care system of Canada’s PR requirement.
Who requires a medical exam to apply work permit in Canada?
Temporary residents (e.g., workers, students, and visitors) must meet different conditions than those seeking permanent residency.
Those that aim to stay for fewer than six months: As a general rule, you shouldn’t require medical examinations unless you intend to work in a specialized field. Positions in which public health must be safeguarded, such as those that put you in close contact with others, are included in this category of employment opportunities. These are some examples of this style of work:
- Personnel in medical environments
- Clinical laboratory technicians
- Patient caregivers in nursing and elderly care facilities
- Medical students admitted to universities in Canada
- Medical electives and locum tenens physicians.
- Elementary and secondary schools employees and in child-care situations
- In-home caregivers for children, the elderly, and the disabled; daycare staff
- Agriculturists from particular nations/territories. A country or territory is designated if the column marked “Immigration Medical Examination (IME) needed” in IRCC’s list of designated countries and territories.
Other job titles may also be subject to a medical exam, which is not included in the preceding list.
Medical examinations are required for agricultural employees who have traveled or worked in specific countries for more than six months in the previous year.
More than six months: For those who want to stay longer than that, the following situations necessitate a medical examination:
- You’ve spent at least six months in one of these nations in the past year.
- You’ve decided to pursue a career in which the health of others is a top priority.
- You are requesting a super visa for a parent or grandparent.
There are two types of candidates for permanent residency: It is common practice to require a medical exam for all prospective permanent residents, including accompanying wives, partners, and children who are financially dependent on the applicant.
But until December 28, 2021, a temporary policy exempting some low-risk candidates is in force and refers to applicants who wish to apply for work permit in Canada:
- Have submitted a permanent residence or a permanent resident visa application, or have a pending application for permanent residence but have not yet taken a new immigration medical exam.
- Have undergone an immigration medical examination during the past five years and been determined to pose no risk to public health or safety or have complied with a duty to report to public health authorities for monitoring.
- Have not left Canada for more than 180 days in the past year to reside in a country with a greater incidence of a serious communicable disease than Canada, as detailed in the list of countries requiring an immigration medical check.
If they fit the conditions and are also living in Canada, accompanying family members may also be eligible for this temporary exemption.
It is likely that you will be asked to have a medical examination if you do not meet the Canada PR requirement outlined above.
Which health professional may you visit for your IRCC medical examination?
A physician can only complete your exam on an IRCC-approved panel. The exam can’t be completed by your own doctor (unless your doctor is listed as a panel physician, which is unlikely). You can find a panel doctor near you by using IRCC’s service.
How long are IRCC medical exam results valid?
There are no expiration dates for IRCC medical exam findings. Exam results older than 12 months will necessitate a new one.