Certain immigrants to Canada are to have medical exam exemptions following the implementation of a Temporary Public Policy in order to speed up application processing.
The move covers candidates considered low-risk, who are already in Canada and previously completed a medical exam that has now expired.
It comes as Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) look to tackle a massive backlog of applications that built up during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Temporary Public Policy was signed by Immigration Minister Sean Fraser on October 5 and implemented on October 12 by IRCC. It will remain in place for two years, until October 6, 2024.
“This supports faster processing of applications to help eligible foreign nationals quickly obtain temporary or permanent resident status,” IRCC said.
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Medical Exam Exemption For Low-Risk Immigration Applicants Already in Canada
Candidates covered by the exemption are those who have:
- A new or pending application for permanent or temporary residence or a permanent resident visa, made from within Canada.
- Completed an immigration medical exam within the last five years and posed no risk to public health or safety, or reported to public health authorities for monitoring, as required.
To qualify, candidates must know the unique number of this previous exam.
“Applicants who are not eligible under this temporary public policy are required to undergo an IME as per usual health screening procedures,” IRCC said.
“IRCC will contact individuals who are not eligible for the exemption to discuss next steps.”
In announcing the implementation of the public policy, IRCC said it was seeing “unprecedented interest in Canada from applicants all over the world”.
“This temporary public policy helps streamline processing for low-risk applicants, aims to provide better client service and supports faster processing of applications, while effectively managing public health risks,” IRCC said.
The latest public policy follows two similar policies implemented between May 2021 and March 2022.
IRCC says the first two policies benefitted 85,000 immigration applicants, and the latest one is expected to benefit 180,000 candidates.