Can I work in Canada after I make a refugee claim?

3. Have a medical exam

All refugee claimants must have an Immigration Medical Exam (IME) within 30 days of being found eligible to make a claim. You must have an IME before your open work permit application can be approved.

If you have a medical condition, you may be asked to do more medical testing before you can get a work permit. For example, this might be required if you’re HIV positive.

You will get a Medical Report form (IMM 1017E) and instructions for getting a medical exam.

Your medical exam must be completed by a “panel physician”. A panel physician is a doctor that is approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). You can use this list to find a panel physician in your city.

The Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) will pay the doctor to complete your first exam. There is no cost to you.

The doctor will do a complete medical exam. They might also send you for chest x-rays and laboratory tests. Once your medical exam is done, the doctor will send the results to IRCC.

What to bring

When you go to your medical exam, you must take:

  • your Refugee Protection Claimant Document,
  • the Medical Report form IMM 1017E,
  • your eyeglasses or contact lenses, if you wear them, and
  • any medical reports or test results about your previous or existing medical conditions.

If your documents are not in English or French, you must also bring:

  • an English or French translation of the document, and
  • a declaration or affidavit written and signed by the translator.

You might also have to bring four recent photographs if the doctor does not use eMedical. eMedical is an online tool used to record and send medical exams to IRCC instead of by mail or fax. Contact the doctor before your appointment to find out if you need to bring your photographs.

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