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CANADA – Changes to List of Designated Countries for Immigration Medical Exam

Effective 23 November 2017, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has updated the list of "designated countries" whose residents require an immigration medical examination (IME) to apply for a temporary or permanent residence visa.

The following countries, previously not designated, are now designated (i.e. they now require an IME): Fiji, Singapore, Timor-Leste, Tunisia.

The following countries, previously designated, are no longer designated (i.e. they now do not require an IME): Argentina, Bahrain, Belize, Colombia, Wallis and Futuna, Portugal, Seychelles, Surinam, Venezuela.

The full list of designated countries can be found here.

Pending Applications

Applicants who already submitted an application before this change won’t be penalized if they followed the guidelines that existed at the time the application was received, but may be asked to undergo an IME.


Canadian law provides that foreign nationals (including international students and foreign workers) coming to Canada for six months or more, who have resided in ‘designated countries’ for six or more consecutive months in the last year, must undergo an Immigration Medical Exam (IME).

Designated countries are those identified as having a higher risk of medical concerns. The government has indicated that the next review of the designated countries list will occur in 2021, and every three years thereafter.

In addition, people involved in certain fields such as health care, child care, or food preparation also need an IME even for stays of under six months.

Action Items

  • Employers of temporary or permanent residence visa applicants who have resided in a designated country for six or more consecutive months in the last year should ensure the applicant undergoes the immigration medical exam and should allow several weeks for this procedure.

This alert was prepared using information provided by Kranc Associates and Newland Chase.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2021 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.