Before the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020 severely impacted the world, Canada welcomed over 400,000 new international students in 2019. According to reports, the number is twice as many study permits released by the Canadian government since 2015. These students mostly came from India with the highest number, followed by China, South Korea, France, and Vietnam.
Canada is a popular student destination for studying. As exciting as it sounds, visa applicants need to complete requirements, including an immigration medical examination.
What Is Student Visa Medical Examination?
The immigration medical examination (IME) is one of the most vital requirements for Canada’s student visa. Others include:
- Proof of funds
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score
- Valid passport
- Acceptance proof by a designated learning institution
- Statement of purpose
- Credit card
- Police certificate
Where and Whom to Get a Medical Test?
Applicants can get a medical exam in an immigration medical centre in their home country or any other country they prefer. What’s important is that the physician to carry out their medical test is an approved panel doctor. They should be on the list of designated panel physicians approved by IRCC. The same doctor will also issue a Health Certificate valid for one year.
Visa applicants can find a panel physician near them at the IRCC page, or they can opt to search for themselves. Visit this page for more information if you’re from Ontario or Ottawa.
What Medical Tests Are Required?
Generally, physical checks and tests for the following are mandatory:
- Chest X-rays
- Syphilis test
- Urine test
Visa candidates with infectious diseases, including tuberculosis and active syphilis, are considered inadmissible. Someone who had direct contact with a person with contagious diseases may also be refused. Medical exam results showing mental conditions with possibilities of violent behavior, and medical conditions that require hospitalization and continuous medical care are often denied entry.
What to Expect During the Medical Exam?
Before their appointment, visa candidates may visit the IRCC page or their chosen panel physician’s website, if there are any. It allows them to learn more about the requirements or other details they overlooked. They have to remember that doctors will not perform the exam if they don’t have a single requirement.
At the clinic, they need to present a valid ID before answering a medical history questionnaire. Telling the truth about their previous or current medical and mental conditions can avoid issues and delays during the procedure. The test includes:
- Measuring their height
- Hearing and vision check
- Blood pressure taking
- Feeling their pulse
- Heart and lungs listening
- Feeling their abdomen
- Checking their limbs move
- Inspecting their skin
The doctor may request additional tests based on the applicant’s age, such as chest x-rays and laboratory tests. After the exam, the applicants will receive a result, plus a document confirming they had a medical exam.
Applicants’ Rights During the Medical Exam
Applicants must know about their rights to bring a chaperone during the medical exam. They may also do the following:
- Stop the medical exam any time to ask any questions about what the doctor is doing
- Request for a staff member inside the examination room
- Stop the procedure and ask for a chaperone, even if they refused it at first
If they’re not satisfied with how the panel physician or panel radiologist did the exam and tests, they may complain using the web form or contacting the client support center on the IRCC website.
How to Pass the Medical Exam to Get a Student Visa?
At least a few days or weeks before the medical exam, applicants should consider following a healthy diet and lifestyle. These include sleeping well, staying hydrated, and reducing stress. If they know their existing medical and mental conditions, which can affect their medical test result, they can choose to work with legal experts.
Usually, immigration officers send a procedural fairness letter through email or snail mail to a student visa candidate to allow them to answer any issues they find, including medical test results.