The New Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRRC) data show that Canada welcomed 15,925 new immigrants in 2020. If you’re seeking a temporary or permanent residence in the “Land of Maple Leaf,” a complete medical examination is required. However, the IRRC recommends that an approved panel of medical facilities carry out some tests.
IRRC facilitates the immigrants’ arrival, protects refugees, and programs newcomers to help them settle in Canada. The agency also issues travel documents, like passports, to Canadians and grants citizenship. Moreover, they have visa offices all over the world to process applications of individuals outside the country.
What Is Immigration Medical Exam (IME)?
The IME is a vital part of the immigration process when applying for permanent residency, work in laboratory or clinical fields, and long-term visits to Canada. Whether you will remain for a short or longer period, you need to know how it works. You can find clinics for Immigration medical exams authorized by the IRRC to provide the medical exam in almost all countries.
Preparing for the IME
Ask your panel doctor before your appointment to know the requirements and learn more about other important details. The list below are the requirements needed for the IME:
- A list of medications you’re currently taking
- At least 1 government-issued document with your picture and signature (passport, national ID, a Canadian’s driver’s license if you’re taking the exam in Canada)
- Any test results or reports of any previous or existing medical conditions you have
- IRCC-issued Medical Report form (IMM 1017E) if you’re not getting an upfront medical exam.
- 4 recent photographs if the panel physician doesn’t use eMedical. Ensure to ask your panel physician before your appointment if this is the case.
Other things you might bring include:
- Eyeglasses and contact lenses, if you wear them.
- Proof of vaccination for COVID-19, if you have one.
Before Your Appointment
Always keep your government-issued identification on hand because you need to present it more than once, depending on the diagnostic tests needed. Prior to your exam date, make sure that you’re physically and medically prepared. Consider these suggestions listed below:
- Be in good shape or see a doctor ahead of time, especially if you have high cholesterol, diabetes, or high blood pressure.
- Prepare to answer questions as honestly as possible according to your knowledge.
- Avoid alcohol at least 72 hours before your exam.
- Limit your caffeine intake (coffee and tea).
- Eat healthy meals for at least one week before the exam, including avoiding sugary food.
- If you’re currently taking painkillers, call your doctor and ask if you can avoid them before your exam appointment.
- Get enough sleep.
- Avoid smoking and other recreational drugs at least a few days before your examination.
- Arrive at the designated examination area at least 30 minutes early and ensure that you’re well-groomed.
What to Expect
As soon as you arrive, you will present your identification before answering a medical history questionnaire. It will make the processing of your medical exam faster if you inform them about any previous or existing medical conditions you have. That’s why it’s also essential that you visit your panel facility’s website for more information about the process.
For your physical examination, they will perform the following:
- Measuring your height
- Checking your vision and hearing
- Taking your blood pressure
- Feeling your pulse
- Listening to your heart and lungs
- Feeling your abdomen
- Checking how your limbs move
- Looking at your skin
- Other possible tests depending on your age
Know Your Rights
You have some rights during the IME process. To start with, You can bring someone or a chaperone who can stay in the room with you and the panel doctor. Also, you can stop the exam at any point so you can ask questions you might have.
Remember that they should not analyze your genitals or rectal areas since these aren’t needed for the immigration examination. However, the physician may need to examine your breasts and discuss why and how the check-up is done.