A Comprehensive Guide to IRCC Medical Exams

  • December 26, 2021
  • 4 min read

The Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) department administers the medical screening program for all visitors and immigrants coming into Canada. IRCC relies on a network of panel physicians to administer immigration medical exams (IMEs) for visitors applying to live in  Canada. You have to meet set criteria for admissibility into the country, including the latest medical standards.

 The basic criteria to qualify for Canadian residency is that the applicant should not be a danger to public health and safety or create excessive demand for Canadian social services or healthcare. This comprehensive guide on iRCCmedical exams will take you through everything you need to know about the process.

Who needs to get an IRCC Medical Exam?

  1. IRCC mandates immigration medical exams for all visitors intending to stay in Canada for more than six months. 
  2. Visitors who have lived or traveled to these countries for more than six months in the year before applying for temporary Canadian residence must undergo IMEs.
  3. Anyone coming into Canada to work within the public health sector must be protected due to close contact with people. These job applicants will need to take an IME to work in:
  • Healthcare settings
  • Nursing and geriatric homes attendants
  • Medical students reporting to Canadian universities
  • Medical electives or physicians on short term locums
  • Domestic workers
  • In-home care workers
  • Day nursery workers
  • Clinical laboratory workers

4. Agricultural workers who may have lived or visited these countries for at least six months within the past year. 

5. Parents and grandparents applying for super visas.

Who Can Carryout Your Immigration Exam?

Only IRCC approved panel physicians can administer the immigration exam.  The immigration department website lists all approved panel physicians in various countries, territories, and regions who can do the immigration medical exam. It’s important to note that the contact information is subject to change, and you should refer to your immigration officer for up-to-date contact information. Our Ontario Immigration panel physicians are always on hand to assist you in any way they can.


When to Get Your Immigration Medical Exam

You can get your immigration medical exam before or after applying for temporary Canadian residency. Getting an upfront medical exam requires you to contact a panel physician directly and it’s recommended if you are applying to visit, study or work in Canada. Applications submitted before taking a medical exam will get instructions on how to get the medical exam done within 30 days to avoid failed applications.

Fees for Immigration Medical Exams

As an applicant, you are responsible for paying all costs associated with your immigration medical exam unless you qualify for the interim federal health program. You can expect the following fees:

Our Ontario IME clinic charges reasonable fees that are aggregated depending on your age, and we provide an itemized receipt clearly indicating the services charged. 

Immigration Medical Exams Required Documents

As an applicant, you must submit identification documents such as passports as part of the IME process, including radiology, laboratory, and specialist referrals. The IRCC also approves the following identification documents:

  • Original birth certificates for minors
  • National ID cards
  • Canadian driver’s license
  • Refugee travel document
  • Seaman’s book
  • Refugee protection claimant document
  • Organization of American States travel document
  • Un laissez-passer
  • Red Cross travel document

Upfront Medical 

Upfront medical refers to IMEs conducted on applicants with no paper client Biodata or file in the eMedical system. Upfront medical is generally permitted for workers and students applying for temporary Canadian residency. 

Medical Report

The panel physician uses the applicant’s medical report to assess their medical condition and reviews the report to confirm the information before submitting it to the IRCC. Your medical report includes a date of diagnosis, treatment date, relevant medications, and current status of any health condition you might have. The panel physician may ask the following questions to identify your medical history:

  • Prior cases of Tuberculosis and contact with close household or work members with TB
  • Prior cases of repeated hospitalization or prolonged medical treatment 
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • History of HIV
  • Diabetes
  • Hepatitis B or C 
  • Malignancy or cancer in the last five years
  • Heart conditions
  • Blood conditions
  • Addiction to alcohol or drugs
  • Ongoing intellectual or physical disability
  • Kidney or bladder disease
  • Pregnancy and expected date of delivery

IME Physical Examination

As per the IRCC, the panel physician will complete a physical examination to detail any abnormal findings. The IRCC physical examination includes the following information:

  • Whether a chaperone was offered
  • Hearing
  • Eyes
  • ears/nose/ throat and mouth
  • Visual acuity 
  • Blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular system
  • Intellectual ability
  • Respiratory system
  • Mental and cognitive state
  • Gastrointestinal system
  • Musculoskeletal system
  • Skin and lymph nodes
  • Nervous system 
  • Endocrine system
  • Evidence of substance abuse
  • Breast examination