Immigration to Canada: Medical Exams

Canada, just like many other nations that welcome immigrants, overseas workers, and international students, requires all newcomers to undergo medical exams. Before granting appropriate visas or permanent residence status, this ensures that newcomers are physically fit to perform their work, do not pose a health risk to the Canadian population, and do not require a significant amount of healthcare resources primarily intended for Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

What exactly is a medical examination for Canadian immigration?

A panel physician recognized by the IRCC administers the immigration medical exam. The exam evaluates whether a person should be denied entry to Canada for medical reasons.

A medical exam approved by the IRCC will consist of a medical history questionnaire, a physical examination, and any extra tests considered appropriate by your panel physician. Your doctor may dispatch you to a specialist if they require additional information. The legislation allows you to bring a chaperone on your arranged visit.

Bring the required identification, such as a passport and/or other government-issued identification, and health information (a list of the medications you are taking, eyeglasses, etc.). to your medical examination. Some Canadian immigration programs permit you to complete your medical exam before applying. Others require an examination upon application. In certain circumstances, IRCC will provide you with a deadline to complete the exam.

Why is the medical exam required in Canada?

The primary objective of the Canadian immigration medical examination process is to assess if an individual is medically fit to enter Canada. A person’s immigration application may be denied if they threaten public safety or health or if their medical condition could overburden the Canadian healthcare system.

What constitutes medical inadmissibility in Canada?

Here are more details on how a person may be ruled medically ineligible for two reasons:

They endanger public health and safety in Canada.

Certain conditions, such as severely contagious diseases, threaten Canadian residents’ health and safety and are, therefore, medically inadmissible.

They’ll strain Canada’s health and welfare systems.

Health and social services are accessible to all Canadians, permanent residents, and certain temporary residents (HDC). Immigration applicants may be judged medically inadmissible if it is determined that they would be a financial burden on Canada’s free healthcare system or that their presence will substantially influence Canadians’ wait times. This includes Express Entry and Provincial Nominee Program applicants.

In 2018, the excessive demand threshold was increased to just above CAD 20,000 per year, almost three times the previous threshold. You may be medically ineligible if your medical expenses exceed this threshold.

Notably, the excessive demand rule does not apply to spouses, partners, and dependent children sponsored for immigration, as well as refugees and protected persons. In addition, because many applications for temporary residence do not require this examination, certain students, workers, and visitors will be excused from these entrance requirements.


If you intend to become a permanent resident of Canada, receive a work or study visa, or immigrate there, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) may require you to undergo a medical examination before arrival. This test is necessary for most permanent and temporary residence applications, including those presented by workers, students, and visitors.