July 21, 2021
IRCC’s New Temporary Public Policy: Medical Exam Exemption for Some In-Canada Permanent Residence Applicants
As announced by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) on 30 June 2021, there is now a temporary public policy in effect until 28 December 2021 exempting in-Canada foreign nationals meeting the following conditions from having to complete a new immigration medical examination for their permanent resident applications:
- have submitted a new application for permanent residence or a permanent resident visa, or have a pending application for permanent residence and have not yet completed a new immigration medical examination;
- have completed an immigration medical examination within the last five 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
- have not left Canada for more than six months in the last year to live in a country that has a higher incidence of serious communicable disease than Canada as per this list.
Importantly, all three conditions must be met in order for an in-Canada foreign national to be exempt from completing a new medical examination, and eligible applicants must provide either their previous immigration medical exam or unique medical identifier number from their previous medical exam.
This temporary change is intended to streamline processing for low-risk in-Canada applicants and improve processing times (which have seen a slow-down in light of the COVID-19 pandemic), while managing public health risks. If effective, we may see this temporary measure assist IRCC in meeting immigration targets which were increased in October 2020 after a large shortfall in immigration targets in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.