July 21, 2021

IRCC’s New Temporary Public Policy: Medical Exam Exemption for Some In-Canada Permanent Residence Applicants

Posted by Athena Portokalidis - Bellissimo Law Group PC

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.[1]

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.[2]

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[3] after a large shortfall in immigration targets in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.[4]