Medical Definitions

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

  • A
  • B
  • C
  • D
  • E
  • F
  • G
  • H
  • I
  • J
  • K
  • L
  • M
  • N
  • O
  • P
  • Q
  • R
  • S
  • T
  • U
  • V
  • W
  • X
  • Y
  • Z
Danger to Public Health

In order to conclude that a foreign national’s health condition is likely to be a danger to public health, the medical officer who is assessing the foreign national’s health condition shall consider any report made by a health practitioner or medical laboratory with respect to the foreign national (i.e. the findings from the immigration medical examination), the communicability of any disease that the foreign national is affected by or carries, and the impact that the disease could have on other persons living in Canada. (R31)

Active pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) and untreated syphilis are considered a danger to public health.

Danger to Public Safety

In order to conclude that a foreign national’s health condition is likely to be a danger to public safety, the medical officer who is assessing the foreign national’s health condition shall consider any report made by a health practitioner or medical laboratory with respect to the foreign national (i.e. the findings from the immigration medical examination), the risk of a sudden incapacity or of unpredictable or violent behaviour of the foreign national that would create a danger to the health or safety of persons living in Canada. (R33)

Health conditions that are likely to cause a danger to public safety include serious uncontrolled and/or uncontrollable mental health problems such as:

  • certain impulsive sociopathic behaviour disorders;
  • some aberrant sexual disorders such as pedophilia;
  • certain paranoid states’ or some organic brain syndromes associated with violence or risk of harm to others;
  • applicants with substance abuse leading to antisocial behaviours such as violence, and impaired driving; and
  • other types of hostile, disruptive behaviour.
Excessive Demand Exempt (EDE)

As per paragraphs A38(2), R24, R117(g) and R139(4), excessive demand determinations under A38(1)(c) do not apply to:

  • spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner;
  • a dependent child (including an adopted a child) of the sponsor, or of the sponsor’s spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner;
  • Convention Refugees [including their spouses/common-law partners/conjugal partners and dependent children]; and
  • protected persons [including their spouses/common-law partners/conjugal partners and dependent children].

Although such individuals must undertake a full immigration medical examination, they are not assessed for excessive demand.

Excessive Demand for Health and Social Services
The definition of “excessive demand” is found in subsection R1(1).
Health services
The definition of “health services” is found in subsection R1(1).
Immigration Medical Examination (IME)

According to the legislation, a medical examination may include any or all of the following: a review of an applicant’s medical history, a mental examination, a physical examination, laboratory and diagnostic tests, and a medical assessment of the applicant’s records (R29).

However, in order to have sufficient information to determine the inadmissibility on health grounds, foreign nationals who are requested to submit to a medical examination should generally have at least one full medical examination conducted by a panel physician, called a routine immigration medical examination (IME), which includes all of the following:

  • review of past medical history;
  • physical examination;
  • mental examination;
  • Additional age related tests:
    • urine test (age 5 and older);
    • syphilis and HIV blood tests (age 15 and older);
    • chest X-ray (age 11 and older).

If necessary, other medical investigations and tests may also be conducted to determine admissibility or inadmissibility on health grounds.

Medical Assessment
A medical assessment is the review of an applicant’s medical file by a CIC medical officer and/or delegated staff. A medical assessment may lead to either a determination of inadmissibility, admissibility, or that further medical examination is required.
Medical Certificate
The purpose of the medical certificate is to indicate that an applicant is not inadmissible on health grounds. It is created in the CIC electronic platforms (such as GCMS or FOSS) by entering a medical profile which denotes that the applicant underwent a medical examination within the previous 12 months and was found admissible on health grounds (limited to the following M Profiles: M1, M2, M3, M23, M19, M29 and M39).
Medical Profile
A medical profile is the result of the last medical assessment of an applicant’s medical file. It is the code which denotes that an applicant underwent a medical examination and was found either admissible or inadmissible with respect to danger to public health, public safety and, where applicable, excessive demand on health and social services.
Medical Surveillance
Applicants found during their immigration medical examination to have a medical condition of public health significance must report to the provincial/territorial public health authorities to undergo medical surveillance. The applicant’s medical profile indicates when medical surveillance is necessary (see list of surveillance codes). The Public Health Liaison Unit (PHLU) in CIC’s Health Branch notifies the public health authorities and obtains notice of compliance when a client has started medical surveillance. The provincial/territorial public health authorities are responsible for the actual surveillance process.
Panel Physicians
Panel physicians are authorized by CIC to perform immigration medical examinations.
Panel Radiologists
Panel Radiologists are authorized by CIC to perform, grade, and submit chest x-rays requested for immigration medical examinations.
Reassessment of a Medical File for the Issuance of a New Medical Certificate
When the final decision to land an applicant is pending only due to the expiration of the medical certificate or the validity of the medical certificate is about to expire and the client is unable to land before it expires, an immigration/visa officers can request a reassessment of an applicant’s medical file by a medical officer or a Health Branch delegated staff. Such request may result in the issuance of a new medical certificate.
Social services
The definition of “social services” is found in subsection R1(1) .
Starting Date for Calculating the 12 Month Validity Period of a Medical Certificate
The last medical assessment on file is the starting date for the 12 month validity of a medical certificate.
Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: