Program delivery update – November 10, 2017

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Update to the instructions related to health care students who are work permit-exempt under paragraph 186(p) of the IRPR


The program delivery instructions (PDIs) have been updated to provide clarification that health care fields include dental and other professions in human health care that are regulated by provincial or territorial governments.

General revisions throughout the PDIs related to paragraph 186(p) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR)

  • The following instructions have been added:

    Paragraph 186(p) of the IRPR authorizes foreign nationals to work without a work permit if they are foreign students in a health field whose proposed work in Canada is for the primary purpose of acquiring training for a limited period of time. This includes work dealing directly with patients, such as work as part of a medical elective program of study or work in a support role in a health care environment (like as a clinical clerk at a medical teaching institution in Canada). Where necessary, these students must provide a form of written approval from the body in Canada that regulates that field to ensure that Canadian and permanent resident health care students are placed for clinical practice first.

  • The format of the section regarding specific requirements for medical students destined to specific provinces has been changed. For example, the previous instructions regarding medical students destined to Ontario were the following:
    • Is a letter from College of Physicians & Surgeons required?

      No. Does not wish to be involved

      The College of Physicians and Surgeons in Ontario has informed IRCC that it does not want to be involved in these cases, and it does not object to foreign health students working in medical teaching institutions in Ontario. This non-involvement can be interpreted as approval from the regulatory body, which will enable visa officers to process the application without written approval for each case.

New PDIs page and letter

  • A new page on immigration medical examinations for healthcare students who are work permit exempt has been created.
  • A template letter entitled “Port of entry facilitation letter” has been created and can be used by the visa office to provide the visa-exempt foreign national with a unique client identifier before they arrive at the port of entry.

New instructions

Updated instructions

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