Who may perform a Canadian immigration medical examination?

Designated Medical Practitioner

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Info about Designated Medical Practitioners (DMPs) approved by IRCC

In Canada and anywhere in the world, only Designated Medical Practitioners (DMPs) approved by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) are authorized to conduct Canadian immigration medical examinations. These DMPs are licensed physicians who have been specifically designated by the Canadian government to perform medical exams for immigration purposes.

It is important to have your medical examination conducted by a DMP as it ensures that the examination meets the specific requirements set by IRCC for immigration applications. Using a non-designated doctor may lead to your medical results not being accepted for immigration purposes.

When you are ready to undergo your immigration medical examination, you should refer to the list of Designated Medical Practitioners on our website and search for the one near you. This list provides the names and contact information of approved DMPs in various countries. You can then contact a DMP directly to schedule your medical examination and follow the required procedures as outlined by IRCC.

Can I use an alternate medical practitioner that is not on the list of IRCC approved DMPs?

Under specific situations, an applicant might face difficulties in accessing a panel physician. In such cases, the Migration Health Branch has the authority to temporarily permit a non-panel physician to conduct an Immigration Medical Examination (IME) for applicants within Canada. This temporary authorization, known as “dispensation,” is granted based on certain criteria:

  • If it is impractical for the applicant to travel to a panel physician due to exceptional circumstances.
  • If it aligns with the responsibilities of IRCC under the Official Languages Act and aims to support linguistic minority communities.

Procedures for seeking dispensation:

The Migration Health Branch holds the authority to grant dispensation. They assess the reasonableness of the request for dispensation, in consultation with the appropriate regional medical office or migration office, as applicable.

Access to official languages:

As per the provisions of the Official Languages Act, dispensation is considered for applicants in Canada if any of the following situations apply:

  • No panel physician is available within 250 km of the applicant’s residence to provide services in the applicant’s preferred official language.
  • No panel physician is available within a 4-hour drive (one way) of the applicant’s residence to provide services in the applicant’s preferred official language.

In such instances, the Migration Health Branch may grant dispensation for an IME to be conducted by a non-panel physician to accommodate the applicant’s language preferences and location constraints.

Exceptional cases

In exceptional circumstances, clients may receive dispensations when it becomes impractical for them to visit a panel physician. For instance, this could occur due to limited transportation options or health conditions that hinder their ability to travel. Clients must provide a valid justification for why traveling to a panel physician would be unreasonable in their case.

How to request a dispensation

To seek a dispensation, the applicant or their representative such as an immigration lawyer, should get in touch with the IRCC Client Support Centre. They must provide the reason for requesting the dispensation and furnish the following details about the chosen doctor to conduct the IME:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Fax or email address
  • Initial confirmation from the doctor expressing their agreement to perform the exam

It’s essential to note that requests for dispensation must be directly submitted by the applicant or their representative.

Dispensation time implications

Doctors who are not designated as IRCC panel physicians lack access to the electronic IT systems for submitting IMEs. As a result, the dispensation system relies on paper-based processes, which may lead to longer processing times for requests. If the applicant requires a swift completion of their IME, it is advisable for them to consider traveling to the nearest panel physician, where electronic submission is possible.

How can I find a doctor to do my immigration medical exam?

Only an IRCC approved doctor, referred to as a panel physician, is eligible to conduct the immigration medical examination. To locate a panel physician closest to your location, utilize our list of approved panel physicians. It’s essential to note that your family doctor cannot be used for this purpose unless their name appears on the approved list.

Here are some important details about panel physicians and the examination:

  • You have the freedom to select a panel physician from anywhere in the world, even if they are in a different country from your residence.
  • The medical exam comes with a cost that may vary among different doctors.
  • Prior to your medical exam appointment with the panel physician, inquire about the required documents you need to bring.

For further information regarding medical exams, please read our key facts about medical exam and tips and tricks for passing your medical exam.

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