In the previous post, I talked about sending the Canadian immigration package which contains all the required documents and the application forms. If all the documents are in order, and if the immigration visa officer does not require any additional documents from you, you will be asked to undergo a medical exam. This should be done for you (the principal applicant), your spouse and all your children (even those who are not going to accompany you to Canada). Many people consider receiving a medical exam request as a conditional acceptance of your immigration application. Getting this request means that all your documents have been accepted by the visa officer and that you qualify for being a Canadian immigrant. The only potential hurdles that come between you and landing in Canada from this point, are if you fail the medical exam or if there is a problem in your security background checks (meaning, you are deemed a threat to the security of Canada).
When is it Received and What it Contains
How long will take from the time you send your completed documents until the time you get the medical request? This depends on many factors. Not the least of which is the complexity of the immigration case. For example, if you have worked in many companies or lived in different countries for extended periods of time, it would take the visa officer more time to check the supporting documents when compared to someone who lived in only one country and worked in only one company. In my case, it took almost six months from the time of submission of the full documents to receive the medical exam request papers (which is considered a relatively long time).
You should keep in mind that the medical request forms will be sent through regular mail. And you are given a specific period of time in order to do these exams (I was given 30 days from the date of the letter that I received). So, you should check your mail regularly so that you do not miss the deadline to do the medical exams. And another important point to mention here is that once the immigration visa is issued, its validity will be one year from the time when you underwent the medical exams (or till the validity of the passport, whichever is shorter). So, for example, if you do the medical exam on 30 October 2010, the visa would be valid until 29 September 2011 (provided that the passport is also valid). This means that doing the exam as soon as possible will give you more time to prepare once the visa is issued.
The envelope that you will receive will contain the following: a letter explaining the procedure and what you have to do, plus medical forms of each family member containing their personal details along with one picture (the same that you sent with the immigration package). You should not fill any field on these forms. The instructions letter will also tell you that the exams have to be done at one of the designated medical practitioners near you. There will be a link to a web page where you will find a list of all these clinics that you can do the exams at. Make sure to call the clinic to make an appointment before going there. The fees are your responsibility, and are not part of any fees that you have paid so far during your immigration process.
My Personal Experience
Once I reached the clinic, I was given forms to fill for each family member. The forms are relatively simple, and contain information about our medical history. It should not take a long time to fill. After filling the forms, we were asked to give urine samples. Any person who is under five years of age is not required to provide urine samples. Then, vital signs were measured and recorded, along with height and weight. After that, the doctor makes routine exams which include examining your eye sight. Once this is done, you will be asked to take x-rays and give blood samples (again, members under five years of age are not required to do either). Sending the results to the immigration visa office is the responsibility of the clinic. The address where to send the results will be provided in the letter that you received. I called after a couple of days and was given a tracking number to track our medical results. They reached their destination after seven days, but this is because there was a public holiday and a weekend in the middle of this period, so it took them longer to actually send the results.
What Happens Next?
If there is a problem with the medical results of any family member (god forbids), you might be asked to do more exams or your application could be refused (depending on the seriousness of the problem). Otherwise, you are ready for the final phase of your Canadian immigration process, which is security background checks. These checks take, on average, three to four months (some times it can take much more time). If everything is alright, the visa officer will be ready to issue you the immigration visa!