Temporary Immigration Policy Allows Applicants To Skip Medical Exam

Those Who Qualify Can Skip Medical Exam Until December 28

A temporary change to Canada’s immigration policy may relieve some applicants from having to complete and submit an additional immigration medical exam.

Under normal circumstances, foreign nationals in Canada must complete a medical exam and submit it as part of their application for permanent residency. However, the federal government announced on June 30 that they would be implementing a temporary policy, allowing the medical exam to be skipped in certain cases.

Specifically, the policy affects those who are in-Canada foreign nationals and complete the following criteria:

  • They have submitted a new application for permanent residence, a permanent resident visa, or have a pending application for permanent residence and have not yet completed a new immigration medical exam;
  • They have completed an immigration medical exam within the last 5 years and were found to pose no risk to public health or safety, or complied with a requirement to report to public health authorities for monitoring, and;
  • They have not left Canada for more than 6 months in the last year to live in a country that has a higher incidence of a serious communicable disease than Canada, as outlined in the list of countries requiring an immigration medical exam.

Family members of applicants may also be eligible under the criteria above if they’re living in Canada. This temporary policy will be in place until December 28, 2021.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) says the temporary policy will help speed up the immigration process for many – specifically temporary residents who want permanent residence.

As a result of the acceleration, Canada may get closer to its goal of admitting 401,000 refugees this year. So far, the country hasn’t been on track to meet this goal. Canada has admitted less than 25,000 immigrants per month between January and April, and the numbers have been decreasing. Canada would have to admit about 33,000 immigrants per month to meet its 2021 goal.

In Canada, the COVID-19 pandemic has halted efforts to increase immigration numbers. During this period, the government has tried to focus its efforts on helping temporary residents gain permanent residence, as this would be easier given the travel regulations that have been implemented following the pandemic.

IRCC has also introduced a few pathways for immigrants: first, the Express Entry system, and second, a set of six temporary pathways introduced in May for French speakers, essential workers, and international graduates. The slots for graduates filled up quickly, but there are still slots available for the other categories – they will remain open until November 5.