Before the coronavirus pandemic severely affected the world in early 2020, Canada welcomed over 400,000 new international students in 2019. According to reports, it doubled the number of study permits released by the Canadian government since 2015. Most of these students came from India with the highest number, followed by China, South Korea, France, and Vietnam.
The idea of studying and living in one of the most famous student destinations in the world may sound exciting. However, there are a few requirements applicants have to complete to allow entry, including an immigration medical exam.
What Is Student Visa Medical Examination?
The immigration medical examination (IME) is one of the most important 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 their home country or another country of their choice, as long as an approved panel physician performs it. They should be included on the designated panel physician immigration list approved by the IRCC. The same physician will issue a Health Certificate valid for twelve months from the date of their last assessment.
Visa applicants can find a panel physician near them at the IRCC page, or they can choose to search for themselves. To limit their search within their area, they can look for “immigration physician Ottawa” if, for instance, they’re from the place.
What Medical Tests Are Required?
In general, physical checks and tests for the following are mandatory:
- Chest X-rays
- Syphilis test
- Urine test
Visa candidates with infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis and active syphilis, are considered inadmissible. Even without these illnesses, having direct contact with somebody with a contagious disease can be a reason to fail to enter the country. Medical exam results that show psychiatric conditions with possibilities of violent behavior and medical conditions, which require hospitalization and continuous medical care, are also often denied entry.
What to Expect During the Medical Exam?
Before their appointment, it’s always safe for applicants to visit the website of IRCC or their chosen panel physician’s page, if there are any. This ensures that they will not forget a single requirement because the doctor will not perform the test with incomplete documents, including identification, to confirm their identity.
Before the physical exam, the applicants will answer a medical history questionnaire. Being honest about their previous or current medical conditions avoids issues and delays during the process. Typical tests include:
- 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
Depending on the candidate’s age, the doctor may request additional tests, like chest x-rays and laboratory tests. They may also carry out more tests based on their medical exam results. 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 be aware of their rights to bring a chaperone during the medical exam. They may also be allowed to do the following:
- Stop the medical exam any time to ask questions about what the doctor is doing
- Request the facility to have a staff member in the room
- Stop the test and ask for a chaperone, even if they refused it at first
In case of dissatisfaction with how the panel physician or panel radiologist performed the exam and tests, they may complain using the web form or contacting the client support center of IRCC’s 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, including sleeping well, staying hydrated, and reducing stress. If they know they have existing medical and mental conditions that may affect their medical test result, seeking assistance from legal experts may help.
Usually, immigration officers send a procedural fairness letter through email or snail mail to a student visa candidate to answer any issues they find, including medical test results.