As per the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, foreign nationals applying to become Permanent Residents, whether or not they are already in Canada, must hold a medical certificate proving they have undergone a medical examination within the last 12 months and are not inadmissible to Canada based on health grounds. As application processing times can exceed this 12 month period, the designated health staff have been granting extensions of the medical exam’s validity for up to an additional 12 months in order to facilitate the application process.
To provide a similar leeway mechanism that is more consistent with current regulations, Citizenship and Immigration Canada has announced that effective June 1st, 2012 officers can make a request to have an applicant’s file reassessed by either a Medical Officer or a Health Branch delegated staff who will issue a new medical certificate. This new medical certificate will be valid for 12 months, extending both the amount of time officers have to process applications and the time applicants have to land in Canada.
This process will only be available in situations where an officer’s final decision is pending only due to the medical certificate’s expiration or when the expiration date of the medical certificate is approaching and the applicant is unable to land beforehand. Further fine print specifies that the applicant must have had a routine immigration medical examination performed by a panel physician within the last 15 months, either in or outside of Canada.
This new measure should hasten the application processing time as applicants will no longer be responsible for undergoing additional medical examinations with panel physicians should their original medical certificates expire.
For more detailed information on the matter, please visit http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/manuals/bulletins/2012/ob423.asp
For more detailed explanations of immigration terminology please refer to the FWCanada immigration glossary at http://cinet.wpengine.com/canadian-visa-and-immigration-glossary.html