IRCC is streamlining immigration medical examination requirements for eligible applicants


In October 2022, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has introduced a temporary public policy that grants an exemption to certain low-risk foreign nationals residing in Canada from having to submit an immigration medical examination (IME) when their previous IME has expired. The purpose of this policy is to expedite the processing of applications and enable eligible foreign nationals to swiftly obtain temporary or permanent resident status.

This exemption applies to foreign nationals who meet the following criteria:

  • They have submitted a new or pending application for permanent or temporary residence, or a permanent resident visa, from within Canada.
  • They have undergone an immigration medical exam within the last 5 years and presented no risk to public health or safety, nor have they been required to be monitored by public health authorities.

Applicants must provide the unique medical identifier number from their previous medical exam when submitting their application. The temporary public policy will be in effect until October 6, 2024. If an applicant does not meet the criteria for this exemption, they will be required to undergo an IME following the usual health screening procedures. In such cases, IRCC will get in touch with the individuals to discuss the next steps.

IRCC is currently witnessing an unprecedented interest in immigration to Canada from applicants worldwide. In response to this, the organization is continuously raising the bar for immigration processing. This temporary public policy is part of their commitment to streamline processing for low-risk applicants, enhance client service, and expedite application processing while efficiently managing public health risks.

Between May 2021 and March 2022, IRCC had already implemented two similar temporary public policies that eliminated the need for a second IME. These measures simplified the application process, leading to cost savings and faster processing. The first two policies benefited approximately 85,000 low-risk applicants, and the latest public policy is estimated to benefit over 180,000 additional clients.

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