Who may perform an immigration medical examination

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.

Only physicians authorized by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) may carry out immigration medical examinations.

Technical instructions that define the actions and management of the authorized physicians who perform the immigration medical examinations are located on the Panel Physician Program webpage.

Using an alternate medical practitioner

In exceptional circumstances, an applicant may not be in a position to access a panel physician. In Canada, due to IRCC’s obligations under the Official Languages Act, Health Branch may temporarily authorize a non-panel physician to perform an immigration medical examination (known as “dispensation”). Very rarely is dispensation granted outside Canada.

Procedures for requesting dispensation

Dispensation granting authority rests with the Health Branch. In all circumstances, the Health Branch determines if the request for dispensation is reasonable in consultation with the appropriate regional medical office and/or migration office (if the applicant is outside Canada).

  • Applicants in Canada: In accordance with the Official Languages Act, dispensation is considered when no panel physician is able to offer services in the applicant’s preferred official language within either 250 km or 4 hours (one way) of the applicant’s residence. Requests for dispensation must be submitted directly by the applicant or their representative through the IRCC Call Centre. The Call Centre directs all dispensation requests and should ensure the applicant or the applicant’s representative has provided both of the following:
    • the doctor’s contact information
    • confirmation that the doctor is willing to conduct the medical examination
  • Applicants outside Canada (including the United States): In exceptional cases dispensation may be considered for some applicants. In those cases, the request for dispensation must be submitted by the migration office responsible for the applicant.
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