June 6, 2024

Next Steps After an Immigration Medical Exam (IME)

If you’re planning to travel to Canada to immigrate or gain residency for work or study purposes, you may need to have a medical exam. This is to ensure you don’t pose a public health risk or create an excessive demand on Canada’s health and social services. 

Note that a temporary public policy for immigration medical exams (IMEs) is in place until October 6, 2024. If you completed a medical exam within the last 5 years, include the IME number from that exam. You may be exempt from a new IME if you live in Canada and are applying for permanent or temporary residence, provided your previous IME indicated little or no risk to public health and safety.

When is a Medical Exam Necessary?

For visitors, workers, and students staying in Canada for six months or less, an IME is generally not required unless you work in certain jobs where public health must be protected. Examples of such jobs include those in healthcare settings, clinical laboratories, nursing and geriatric homes, medical schools, primary or secondary schools, and child-care settings. Additionally, domestics, workers providing in-home care for children, the elderly, and the disabled, day nursery employees, and agricultural workers who have lived in certain countries for six months or more in the past year also fall into this category.

For stays longer than six months, an IME is required if you have lived in or travelled to specific countries for six months or more in the year before coming to Canada, if you will be working in a job where public health must be protected, or if you are applying for a parent or grandparent super visa. If an IME is necessary, the visa office will provide you with the next steps.

What’s Involved In The Medical Exam?

The Canadian immigration IME is comprehensive and conducted by a panel physician authorized by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). It includes a physical examination to measure your height, weight, and blood pressure, as well as a general assessment to identify any health issues or abnormalities. The physician reviews your medical history to understand past illnesses and ongoing conditions and treatments, to assess your overall health status. Laboratory tests, including blood and urine tests, screen for communicable diseases. A chest X-ray is performed to screen for tuberculosis; pregnant women may initially be exempt from this test but will be required to undergo it after childbirth.

Preparing for and Scheduling the Exam

If you are applying to visit, work, or study in Canada, you can opt for an upfront IME, and contact a panel physician directly to conduct it. This will help you avoid processing delays for your application and extra steps afterwards.

If you haven’t had an upfront IME, the IRCC will provide instructions on completing it, including when to book and the type required. Following these instructions precisely is crucial, as non-compliance may result in application refusal.

As of October 1, 2023, you no longer need an upfront IME before submitting your application for permanent residence through Express Entry.

You should gather all necessary medical records and documentation before the exam. This includes previous medical history, and any information about chronic conditions or past surgeries.

medical record

Next Steps After the Medical Exam

Medical Exam Report Submission

The panel physician will compile the results of the IME and submit them directly to the IRCC, usually within seven days. You’ll receive a document confirming the completion of the exam; keep this document as proof. The panel physician doesn’t make the final decision about your IME. Any issue will be communicated in writing. 

If you have concerns about how the IME was completed, you can complete an online complaint or contact the Client Support Centre. If you want a copy of your IME results, ask the physician at the appointment.

At an upfront IME, you’re given an information printout sheet and an IMM 1017B Upfront Medical Report form. Include copies of these documents or provide your IME number when you apply online. IME results are valid for 12 months only. 

If you had a streamlined IME or completed your IME after applying, you don’t need to do anything else.

Awaiting Decision

The IRCC reviews the medical results in conjunction with the rest of your immigration application. The processing time for this review can vary, depending on the specific type of application and individual circumstances. After three weeks, you can check the status of your IME.

Potential Additional Testing Or Submission of Information

If the initial IME results raise any concerns, the IRCC may request further medical information or additional testing. This could involve follow-up tests or specialist consultations to clarify any ambiguous findings. You’ll be notified if this is the case.

Decision Notification

After reviewing all the required information, including the IME results, the IRCC will make a decision on the application. You will be notified of the decision, which will indicate whether your medical results are satisfactory and whether you meet the health requirements for entry into Canada.

Medical Surveillance

You need medical surveillance if an IRCC physician assessed you with inactive tuberculosis during your immigration IME, or if the Public Health Liaison Unit of IRCC advised you. This ensures your inactive tuberculosis hasn’t progressed to active, and you are connected to necessary healthcare for proper treatment if your tuberculosis becomes active. Provide the IRCC with your contact information once you are settled in Canada. The public health authority will contact you to arrange a medical surveillance appointment. If you show symptoms of active tuberculosis, see a doctor immediately. You must attend all medical surveillance appointments.

Visa or Permit Issued

If all of your other application criteria and submissions are satisfactory and approved, as well as your IME results, the IRCC will issue the appropriate visa or permit to you. This document allows you to enter and reside in Canada for the specified purpose, whether for work, study, or permanent residency.

If you have questions about the health criteria or IME process, Oro Immigration can help. We have decades of experience in helping visitors like you come to Canada to work, study, visit family, or simply see our country.


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