Panel Physician Medical Exam for Immigration
At Ontario Medical Examiners, we specialize in Immigration Medical Examinations (IME) that the Canadian government requires for all immigrants. To get permanent residency in Canada or a temporary visa for visitors, students, and refugee status, you must undergo an immigration medical exam. The results are then submitted to the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) department for approval.
Many immigrants find this process somewhat cumbersome, so this blog is dedicated to demystifying the IME process and getting you situated on what to expect before, during, and after the tests.
Who Needs an Immigration Medical Exam?
The Canadian government mandates IMEs for all visitors planning to stay for six months or less in the country. Some jobs require a medical exam due to their closeness to public health and public safety, and as such, they require the applicant not to create a danger to public health or excessive demand for social services and healthcare. To accomplish this, visitors and immigrants must meet the set criteria for admissibility if they intend to work in any of the following fields:
- Clinical Laboratories
- Nursing and Geriatric Homes
- Child-Care Settings
- Primary and Secondary School Settings
- Domestic Workers
- Day Nursery
- In-Home Care, Elderly and Disabled Homes
- Medical students attending Canadian Universities and physicians with medical electives
- Agricultural workers from these countries.
Keep in mind the list of individuals required to get IMEs changes often, and you should thus enquire with your immigration officer whether your specific case requires you to undergo the exam.
Where Can You Get an Immigration Medical Exam?
Immigration Medical Exams are only administered by accredited panel physicians such as Ontario Medical Examiners. After the results are ready, the panel physician submits them to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). These folks make the final decision regarding whether you have passed the medical exam and later on the contact you in writing to inform you of the final decision.
When Should You Get Your Medical Exam?
Depending on your country of origin, you can get a medical exam after or before applying for immigration status. Generally, if you plan to visit, work, or study in Canada, you will have to contact a panel physician directly and get an upfront medical exam. Applicants who fail to go for a medical exam within 30 days of receiving the go-ahead from IRCC may get their application turned down.
What to Bring When Going for an IME
Proper identification is required when you show up for an Immigration Medical Exam. This includes at least one government-issued document, such as a national identity card or a passport. The document should have an up-to-date photograph and signature.
If you are under any current medications or have undergone medical tests, you should carry the test results for existing and previous medical conditions. People who wear glasses or contact lenses are also encouraged to wear them when showing up for the Immigration Medical Exam.
Visitors who don’t have an upfront medical exam should also remember to bring the medical report form (IMM 1017E) from your immigration officer. At Ontario Medical Examiners, we offer eMedical, so you don’t have to bring four recent photographs. A proof of COVID-19 vaccination is also recommended, but it’s not mandatory.
What You Need to Pay For
At Ontario Medical Examiners, we charge a flat rate for all medical exam-related fees depending on your age. This includes special tests and doctor fees as well as radiologist fees when x rays are required.
What to Expect During the IME
After booking an appointment with our clinic, you can show up on the designated date and time. Our cordial clinic staff will get you situated on the process after confirming your identity.
The physician will administer a medical history questionnaire with questions about existing or previous medical conditions. The doctor will then conduct a physical examination to record the following:
- Hearing and vision
- Blood pressure and pulse rate
The doctor will also take a look at your skin, check your limb movement, feel your abdomen, as well as listen to your lungs and heart. Laboratory tests may also be part of the routine screening depending on your medical results.
What to Expect after the IME
Once the panel physician is done administering the Immigration Medical Exam, you will be given a copy of the information sheet with a case number and your picture on it. You can use the unique case number to track the progress of the exam results from the IRCC website. Most IME reports are often submitted within 5 to 10 days of completing all necessary tests and examinations.