Get medical services before you leave for Canada

The Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) covers some pre-departure medical services for refugees before they leave for Canada, such as:

  • Immigration Medical Examinations (IME)
  • treatment for medical conditions that would otherwise make you inadmissible to Canada (i.e. active tuberculosis and untreated syphilis)
  • certain services and devices that refugees with medical conditions need for safe travel to Canada;
  • immunization costs
  • treatment for communicable disease outbreaks in refugee camps, transit centres or temporary settlements.

The following providers can deliver pre-departure medical services, covered by the IFHP, if they are registered with the IFHP claims administrator, Medavie Blue Cross:  

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) helps deliver pre-departure services. Only panel physicians associated with the IOM may provide immunization services.

Note: Coverage for pre-departure medical services is not retroactive. The IFHP will not cover the cost of these services provided to refugees before April 1, 2017.

Who is eligible?

IRCC visa offices determine if you’re eligible for pre-departure medical services. The groups eligible for coverage are:

Depending on your situation, you may receive an Interim Federal Health Certificate of Eligibility (IFHC) when you are told to complete your medical exam. This is an important document that proves you’re eligible for the IFHP. You must show your certificate to the panel physician when you go for your medical examination so that you will not be charged for the exam.

If your IME will be performed by a panel physician with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), you will not receive an IFHC. The IOM will confirm your eligibility directly with the IRCC visa office.

Pre-departure vaccinations

If a panel physician with the IOM does your IME, certain vaccinations will also be covered. These vaccinations are provided on a voluntary basis. Whether or not you choose to be vaccinated will not impact your application for resettlement to Canada.

Health services in Canada

In Canada, the IFHP provides limited, temporary coverage of health-care benefits to:

  • resettled refugees
  • refugee claimants
  • certain other groups until they qualify for provincial/territorial health coverage or leave the country.

Find out about the in-Canada coverage offered through the IFHP.

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