For anyone seeking permanent or temporary residence in Canada, be it as a student or a worker, a full medical examination is one of the requirements.

The IRCC recommends specific tests that have to be carried out by an approved panel of medical facilities.

With that being said, in this article we will cover the various medical examinations required by Canada and how to prepare for them.


What Is IRCC?

So what is IRCC and its mandate?

In full, the IRCC means Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada. This body facilitates the arrival and protection of immigrants and designs programs to help immigrants settle in Canada.

Further, the IRCC:

  • Grants citizenship.
  • Issues travel documents such as passports to Canadians.
  • Advices on immigration application requirements including the Canada PR requirements (Canada Permanent Residence). Among the Canada PR requirements are that your family members must undergo a medical examination, even if they are not coming with you. The doctor will then fill form i 485 medical exam to go towards your application.

Usually, the Visa office will direct an applicant to have a series of medical tests done within 30 days of receiving an application. The i 693 cost, as well as the i 485 medical exam fee, is absorbed entirely by the applicant. Based on the results of your medical green card exam, immigration services officials decide which applicants to admit and which ones to reject.


The Medical Exam

All applicants seeking to gain permanent resident status, as well as certain applicants seeking temporary residence in Canada (including adjustment of status applicants) are required to undergo an immigration medical exam.

The medical green card exam is to ascertain one’s health to protect the existing citizens in Canada.

The physician carrying out the exam must then fill a medical form known as the form i-693. Effective November 2018, the form i-693 validity will run for two years from its submission date to USCIS. Similarly, the USCIS has shortened the i-693 validity to 60 days from the date it’s signed by a civil surgeon.


How to Prepare For the Exam

Aside from having the immigration doctors fees or civil surgeon fee, there are ways to prepare yourself physically and mentally for the actual medical exam.

These include:

  1. Be in good shape. If you have high cholesterol, are diabetic or have high blood pressure, see your doctor and ensure this is managed adequately before your medical tests. The same goes for if you have a pending surgery.


  1. Be prepared to answer all questions honestly to the best of your knowledge.


  1. Stay off alcohol for at least 72 hours leading up to your exam.


  1. Eat healthy meals for at least a week before the exam. Avoid excessively fatty, greasy, sugary foods.


  1. Limit your intake of black tea and coffee.


  1. Consult your doctor on if you can avoid painkillers leading up to your examination appointment.


  1. Avoid overly strenuous activities like running, swimming and weight training.


  1. Refrain from smoking or chewing tobacco and other recreational drugs.


  1. Get enough hours of sleep.


  1. If possible schedule your exam for first thing in the morning when your body is at its most relaxed state.


  1. Arrive at the Designated Medical Practitioner’s (DMP) office at least 30 minutes in advance. Use this time to decompress. Read a book, listen to music or any other activity that relaxes you. This way your heart rate and blood pressure will be closer to normal.


  1. Be clean and well-groomed to help the doctor make assessments faster and more accurately.


What to Expect when Getting the Canada Immigration Exam

Your DMP will run physical exams, lab work and evaluate your vaccination records. Also, he will take your medical history by asking you a set of questions. For conditions that require urgent care, the physician will notify you as well. Some of the questions will relate to mental disorders and conditions, past and present. Your answers will be then recorded in the form i-693.

Some of the tests will be:

  • For applicants above 15 years, a urinalysis report.
  • For applicants over 25 years, a blood test for syphilis.
  • An HIV blood test for applicants above 15, as well as children who have received blood or blood products, were born to an HIV positive mother or have other identified risks.
  • For hypertensive applicants, those with kidney disorders and diabetic patients, a serum creatinine test will be run.
  • Applicants who are 11 years and older are required to provide an interpreted posteroanterior chest X-ray. Some DMP’s have radiology services within their facilities.

For medical conditions that require urgent care, the physician will refer you to a see a doctor for complete treatment.


Details to be obtained from the Applicant

The physician will need to have your medical history as well as other information that a medical exam and lab work will not reveal. Therefore you will be asked a series of questions that you should answer truthfully.

Some of the questions to expect include:

  • If you have had surgery or been admitted in a hospital.
  • If you suffer from epilepsy, convulsions or blackouts.
  • Any history of mental disorders including anxiety, depression, nervous problems, schizophrenia, eating disorders and drug and substance abuse issues.
  • A history of medical conditions that relate to cardiovascular and respiratory disease.
  • Any recurrent or chronic joint pain.
  • If you suffer from stomach pains and digestion problems.
  • If you have been diagnosed with Tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Female applicants will be asked if they are pregnant. Expectant applicants are excluded from having an X-ray done.
  • If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, kidney or bladder disease.


What to bring To Your CIC Medical Exam

  • Medical reports, prescriptions, and films.
  • Vaccination records.
  • All official papers you received from the immigration services offices.
  • A government-issued photo ID, a driver’s license or passport. The ID document must have a photograph and your signature. A driver’s license, passport, and national ID fulfill these requirements.
  • Four recent photographs (for physicians who do not work on the eMedical platform).
  • Prescription glasses (if you wear them).


Physical Exam Cost

The CIC medical, physical exam must be conducted by a physician on the approved USCIS doctors list (also known as civil surgeons.

Different USCIS doctors also charge different fees. You can find out what the i 693 cost will be beforehand to help you plan accordingly. These can range from $140 to $250 on weekdays and $160 to $380 0n weekends. The variance in the physical exam cost is because the exams are priced based on an applicant’s age, with the higher amount being for applicants over 75 years old and the base amount being for 0-14 years of age. An x-ray, which is not included in the costs will cost $40 on average.

The widely acceptable way to pay the immigration doctors fees/ civil surgeon fee is in cash or using a debit/credit card. This goes for the adjustment of status applications, permanent residency applications as well as temporary residency applications.