The New Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRRC) records show that Canada welcomed 15,925 new immigrants in 2020. If you’re looking forward to a temporary or permanent residency in the “Land of Maple Leaf,” you need a full medical examination. However, the IRRC recommends that an approved panel of medical facilities perform some tests such as completeimmigration.ca.
IRRC facilitates the immigrants’ arrival, protects refugees, and programs newcomers to help settle in Canada. They also issue travel documents, like passports, to Canadians and grant citizenship. On top of these, they have visa offices worldwide to process applications of people outside the country.
What Is Immigration Medical Examination (IME)?
The IME is a key part of the immigration process when making an application for permanent residency, work in laboratory or clinical fields, and long-term visits to Canada. Whether you will stay for a short or longer period, you must know how it works.
You can find any doctor approved by the IRRC to offer the medical examination anywhere globally, like Asia, Europe, America, or Canada. You may go online and type “Immigration medical exam center near me” if you want to narrow down your search for approved physicians in your area.
Preparing for the IME
Contact your panel doctor early on to know the requirements and learn more about other essential information. The list below are the requirements needed for the IME:
- A list of medications you’re currently taking
- At least one 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 present medical conditions you have
- IRCC-issued Medical Report form (IMM 1017E) if you’re not getting an upfront medical exam.
- Four 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.
Always keep your government-issued identification on hand because you need to present it more than once, depending on the diagnostic tests required. Prior to your visit, make sure that you’re physically and medically prepared. Consider these tips 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, ask your doctor 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, they will check your identification before answering a medical history questionnaire. It’s always best to tell them about any previous or existing medical conditions you have. The processing of your medical exam will take longer if you do not.
On your physical test, they will carry out 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
Remember that you have a few rights during the IME process. To begin with, you can bring someone or a chaperone who can stay in the room with you and the panel physician. Also, you may stop the exam at any point throughout the examination so you could ask questions you might have.
They won’t examine your genitals or rectal area since these aren’t needed for the immigration exam. But the physician may need to examine your breasts and discuss why and how the assessment is being done.