Temporary public policy to exempt certain foreign nationals from the immigration medical examination requirement
In response to steady and growing inventories of immigration applications across various lines of business, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is undertaking a broad suite of activities designed to expedite processing and shrink inventories. This will improve service for clients and help Canada maximize the labour market and economic benefits offered through a robust immigration system.
In support of this suite of activities, the Immigration Medical Examination process has been identified as an area where operational efficiencies can also be gained through temporary measures without introducing significant public health or program integrity risks. This may be particularly true for foreign nationals residing in Canada or who have spent a significant period of time recently in Canada who have been assessed as low risk to public health via a previous Immigration Medical Examination, that included a physical exam, within the past five years. Certain clients may be eligible for an exemption from the Immigration Medical Examination requirement when making an application from within Canada. This exemption would apply where the foreign national meets the conditions below.
Public Policy Considerations
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is committed to achieving its ambitious targets for permanent residents and maintaining a competitive environment to attract and retain temporary residents. Currently, this involves steps to directly target processing inventories. Various priority measures are planned or underway to help expedite processing, reduce inventories and prevent new ones from growing. These actions will give Canadians and clients confidence in Canada’s immigration system, by reducing wait times, improving the client experience and allowing the Department to better leverage immigration to address key labour market shortages. These measures will incorporate broader approaches to risk tolerance and build on lessons learned from other streamlining efforts and facilitation measures taken such as previous temporary public policies to expedite permanent resident applications for certain in-Canada students and workers. This includes complementary efforts to streamline Immigration Medical Exam processing, to help facilitate overall processing efficiency and minimize touch points for clients.
This temporary public policy seeks to streamline the health screening requirement for foreign nationals who have made an application from within Canada and have previously completed an Immigration Medical Exam, that included a physical examination, and have a new or pending application under the Act, or are an in-Canada family member of a foreign national who has a new or pending application under the Act, while limiting public health risks to Canadians and strain on the Canadian health care system.
As such, I hereby establish that, pursuant to my authority under section 25.2 of the Act, there are sufficient public policy considerations that justify the granting of an exemption from certain requirements of the Act and the Regulations, to foreign nationals who meet the conditions (eligibility requirements) listed below.
Based on the public policy considerations, when processing an application under the Act, delegated officers may grant an exemption from the requirements of the Act and the Regulations identified below, when a foreign national meets the following conditions:
Conditions (eligibility requirements) applicable to foreign nationals except where they are an accompanying family member of a principal applicant on an application for permanent residence (for a permanent resident visa or applied to remain in Canada as a permanent resident):
- The foreign national
- Has made an application under the Act and has indicated a Canadian residence on the application;
- Has submitted to an Immigration Medical Examination that included a physical examination under paragraph 29(a) of the Regulations
- Within the five years before the date the application under the Act is submitted in the case of a foreign national who submits an application on or after the date this temporary public policy comes into effect, or
- Within the five years before the the coming into effect of this temporary public policy in the case of a foreign national whose application under the Act is pending on the date the public policy comes into effect, and
- The foreign national’s most recent IME described in subsection 1(ii), was assessed and coded as:
- M1: indicating they pose no danger to public health and public safety;
- M3: indicating they have a health condition present but are not expected to place an excessive demand on health or social services, unless the M3 has been assessed and identified as “TR only” or “EDE only”; or
- M2 or M2/3: indicating they are a potential risk to public health, but they have complied with their requirement to report to provincial/territorial health authorities for medical surveillance, unless the M2 or M2/3 has been assessed and identified as “TR only” or “EDE only”.
Conditions (eligibility requirements) applicable to foreign nationals who are an accompanying family member of a principal applicant on an application for permanent residence (for a permanent resident visa or applied to remain in Canada as a permanent resident)
- The foreign national
- is an accompanying family member of a foreign national who is a principal applicant on an application for permanent residence and the principal applicant meets the requirements of section 1(i); and
- Has submitted to an Immigration Medical Examination that meets the requirements of subsection 1(ii) and section 2.
Provisions of the Act for which an exemption may be granted
- Paragraph 16(2)(b) of the Act – the requirement for foreign nationals, subject to the Regulations, to submit to a medical examination.
Where an exemption from Paragraph 16(2)(b) of the Act of the Regulations is granted; the following are further requirements of the Regulations, if applicable, for which an exemption may be granted
- Sub-paragraph 65.1(1)(d)(ii) of the Regulations – the requirement to hold a medical certificate based on the most recent medical examination to which an applicant was required to submit and which took place within the previous 12 months.
- Sub-paragraph 72(1)(e)(iii) of the Regulations – the requirement to hold a medical certificate based on the most recent medical examination to which an applicant was required to submit and which took place within the previous 12 months.
Start date and End date
This temporary public policy will take effect on the date of signature and will end 24 months from the date of signature. This temporary public policy may be revoked at any time, without prior notice. Pending applications or those submitted on or after the day this temporary public policy takes effect until the day it ends will be processed under the temporary public policy.
Original signed by
The Hon. Sean Fraser, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Dated at Ottawa, October 5, 2022
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