In a recent development, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have made a significant change to the Express Entry application process. Starting from October 1st, 2023, applicants are no longer required to undergo an upfront medical examination before submitting their application for permanent residence through Express Entry.
The Immigrant Medical Exam (IME) Requirement
Traditionally, the Immigrant Medical Exam (IME) conducted by a panel physician has been a mandatory requirement for individuals seeking permanent residence in Canada. This medical assessment ensures that the candidate is in the best of health and won’t pose a risk to the public health of Canada.
New Procedure for Express Entry Applicants
Under the revised procedure, Express Entry applicants have options based on their previous medical examination history:
No Previous IME
If you have never completed an IME before, you can now submit a blank document in the upload field of the Express Entry profile builder when submitting your application. IRCC will subsequently provide you with instructions on when and how to proceed with your medical examination.
If you have previously undergone an IME as part of another application, such as a work or study permit, and are currently residing in Canada, you are not required to undergo another IME when applying for permanent residence.
The Role of Panel Physicians
It’s important to note that the medical examination must be conducted by a panel physician approved by IRCC. Applicants cannot use their personal doctors for this examination. The panelist conducts a medical examination while thoroughly checking the medical history and tests of the patient.
What to Bring to the Medical Exam?
When attending the medical examination, applicants should be prepared with the following:
- Proper Identification: Valid identification documents.
- Eyeglasses or Contact Lenses: If applicable, bring eyeglasses or contact lenses.
- Medical Reports and Test Results: Any medical reports or test results related to previous or existing medical conditions.
- List of Current Medications: A list of all medications currently being taken.
- Medical Report Form: In cases where applicants did not have an upfront medical exam, they should bring the Medical Report form provided by IRCC.
- Photographs: Four recent photographs may be required if the panel physician does not use eMedical.
Applicants are responsible for covering all costs associated with the medical examination. The candidate is required to pay the fees directly to the panel doctor. After the completion of the entire medical assessment, the panelist shares a document confirming the completion of the process.
Validity of Medical Exam Results
The medical exam is valid for 1 year. In case, the candidate does not immigrate to Canada within the given timeframe, they might have to go through the medical examination again.