Upfront Medical Exam – IME without a letter

Medial inadmissibility could prevent many people from moving to Canada. Of course, the purpose of medical inadmissibility is to protect the health and safety of Canadians. Therefore, immigration officers ask a large group of applicants to go through medical exams. However, you may sometimes do an upfront medical exam. In those situations, you do not wait for an officer to issue an Immigration Medical Exam (IME) letter.

Who needs to do an upfront medical exam?

The following applicants need to do an upfront medical exam. Nevertheless, this list is neither inclusive nor exclusive. Thus consult with a professional for official advice:

Note: If your immigration or visa program does not qualify for an upfront medical exam, you must wait for an official IME letter (IMM 1017).

The list of designated countries for temporary residents

IRCC has a webpage that includes the list of all countries and territories for IME. When you look up a county from that list, you must do a medical exam if there is a “Yes” under the IME column and you meet the following criteria:

  • You intend to remain in Canada for more than six months; and
  • You have lived or visited these countries for six months or more within the past 12 months.

Since the list of designated countries is subject to change, visit the IRCC webpage for more information. However, a screenshot shows how easily you can find the necessary information.

Designated Countries for upfront medical exam

How to conduct an upfront medical exam?

If you intend to do an upfront medical exam, take the following steps.

  1. Locate a panel physician that is close to you. Of course, you must refer to the IRCC website for the official list.
  2. Call them and book an appointment. Let the panel physician know you will do an upfront medical exam. Therefore, you do not have an IME form (i.e., no IMM 1017).
  3. Take the following and any other documents the physician requires:
    1. Passport or another official ID card
    2. Lenses or eyeglasses (if you wear them)
    3. A list of your medications
    4. Any evidence of your medical history
    5. Four immigration photographs (or as advised by the panel physician)
    6. If you are an Express Entry applicant, the ITA letter
  4. Besides a physical exam, you may also need to go through lab tests, x-rays, etc.

Regardless, the physician will later pass the following documents to you:

  • IMM 1017B Upfront Medical Report form and
  • information printout sheet.

You need to upload both documents if you are applying online. However, if you apply at a port of entry or on paper, you must present the hard copies.

What if you miss the exam?

If you do not do the upfront medical exams, any of the following scenarios could occur:

  1. The officer will issue the IMM 1017 form and asks you to do the exam. Of course, this means a delay in the processing.
  2. They wave you from the exam (unlikely, though).
  3. They refuse your application (extremely unlikely).

Scenario #3 is improbable (especially during the COVID-19 pandemic). However, it is in your best interest to do the exam and avoid potential disappointment. If you have submitted your application, you may still do the medical exam and upload the documents via the IRCC web form. Nonetheless, the IRCC website is silent on this practice.

<<Now read: Some in-Canada applicants are temporarily exempt from medical exams until December 28, 2021,>>

The upfront medical exam for dependent family members

When you are applying for immigration to Canada, all your dependent family members must also undergo a medical examination. Therefore, if an upfront medical exam applies to the principal applicant, it also applies to the rest of the dependent family members. This requirement is regardless of whether they accompany or not accompany the principal applicant. However, the situation changes if the application is temporary (e.g., TRV, work permit, study permit, or TRP). In those situations, only applicants must undergo a medical examination. Of course, they must do it if the requirement applies. Read “Who needs to do an upfront medical exam?” for more information.

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    Relevant article: Removing limitations on a work permit because of a missing medical exam

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    Al Parsai, MA, DTM, RCIC
    Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
    Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
    Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada

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    Al Parsai

    This article has been expertly crafted by Al Parsai, a distinguished Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) hailing from vibrant Toronto, Canada. Al's academic achievements include an esteemed role as an adjunct professor at prestigious Queen's University Law School and Ashton College, as well as a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University. A respected member of CICC and CAPIC organizations, Al's insights are further enriched by his experience as the dynamic CEO of Parsai Immigration Services. Guiding thousands of applicants from over 55 countries through the immigration process since 2011, Al's articles offer a wealth of invaluable knowledge for readers.