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Country list for immigration medical exams updated

Most long-term visitors from Mexico, Croatia, the Bahamas and 42 other countries and territories can now enter Canada without a medical exam, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced today. In addition, medical exams will no longer be required for agricultural workers from those 45 countries and territories.

The medical examination requirement remains in place for all temporary residents who will be working in an occupation in which the protection of public health is essential. This includes workers in the health sciences field and those working with children.

This announcement does not affect permanent immigrants or refugees, who will continue to be required to undergo a medical examination before entering Canada. Temporary residents planning to stay longer than six months may also need an exam, depending on CIC’s periodic assessments of the health situation in their countries of origin.

“We are committed to ensuring there is a balance between welcoming visitors and newcomers to Canada while protecting the health and security of Canadians. CIC uses an objective threshold to determine whether a country or territory should be added or removed from the designated country/territory list,” said Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.

Today’s changes follow a regular review of the three-year average tuberculosis incidence rates of all countries and territories. A threshold of 15 cases per 100,000 is used to determine whether a country or territory should be included on CIC’s designated country/territory list, which is then used to determine whether a temporary resident applicant requires an immigration medical examination.

Mexicans applying to be temporary residents in Canada should account for about 40 per cent of those who will benefit from today’s announcement. In 2009, had Mexico not been considered a designated country, about 6,000 fewer Mexican applicants would have required medical exams. The cost for medical exams is based on local rates, with fees routinely costing up to $200, while the processing time for medical exams is generally between 2 weeks and 2 months.

“Today’s changes will improve the free movement of people to Canada, while at the same time maintaining the integrity and fairness of our immigration system,” continued Minister Kenney.
Four countries/territories have also been added to the designated country/territory list as a result of this review, including Wallis and Futuna.

For the full list of countries and territories affected by the review of the designated country list, please see the Backgrounder. For a list of countries or territories where medical exams are still required, please see the complete designated country/territory list.
For more information on medical examination requirements for temporary foreign workers, foreign students and visitors to Canada, please visit CIC’s website.

Posted: Sep 14, 2010

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