Immigation Medical Survelliance

Fact Sheet

What is immigration medical surveillance (IMS) for TB?

All applicants for permanent residency in Canada, refugee claimants and certain applicants for temporary residency are required to undergo an Immigration Medical Exam (IME) and assessment. This exam ensures you do not have active TB disease.

Why am I on IMS?

The IME is reviewed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to check for many illnesses including TB. Individuals who are identified as being at high risk for developing active TB disease, who have a previous history of TB or who have been exposed to TB disease, may be placed on IMS as a condition of being allowed into Canada.

How do I complete my IMS?

  • Call to report to a “provincial/territorial health authority” within 30 days of arrival in Canada. If your immigration notice indicates urgent, you will need to report promptly the day you arrive or the following day during business hours. You can do this by dialing 905-825-6000 if you will be residing in Halton Region. You cannot start IMS if you are not in Canada.
  • Find a family doctor. See a doctor right away if you have symptoms suggestive of TB such as cough, fever, and night sweats, or unexplained weight loss. You are also required to see a doctor within 7 days of arrival in Canada if your immigration notice from IRCC indicates urgent.
  • Apply for the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP), if you are eligible.  Please contact the Service Ontario INFOline at 1-866-532-3161 for details about OHIP eligibility or visit their website at http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/ohip/.
    If you have Interim Federal Health Coverage, the medical costs related to IMS may be covered. Please visit http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/refugees/outside/summary-ifhp.asp for more information.
  • Book an appointment with your doctor as soon as you get your OHIP card.
    Please Note: Visitors and other temporary residents, who do not qualify for OHIP, will need to pay for the medical assessment and required testing.
  • Your case investigator (nurse) from the Halton Region Health Department will mail you an IMS information package which you will need to complete to complete your IMS.
    Take the envelope labelled “physician package” with you to your appointment. This package contains information for the physician including a Tuberculosis Physician Reporting Form.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure that the Halton Region Health Department receives the completed Tuberculosis Physician Reporting Form and chest x-ray report within 4-6 months from your arrival to Canada. This can be done by fax or mail:
    • Fax: 905-825-8797
    • Mail to/Drop off at: The Halton Region Health Department, Communicable Disease Control Services, 3rd floor, 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville, Ontario, L6M 3L1

How can I find a doctor?

You can refer to our website for a list of family physicians that are new to Halton Region and are currently accepting patients: http://www.halton.ca/cms/One.aspx?portalId=8310&pageId=15476 or you can call Health Care Connect at  1-800-445-1822 or refer to their website at www.health.gov.on.ca.

Will IMS affect my immigration process?

IRCC requires proof that you have met the requirements of IMS before this condition is removed from your file. If we do not receive your chest x-ray report and the Tuberculosis Physician Reporting Form within 6 months from the date of your arrival, your file will be closed. IRCC will be notified that you have not complied which may delay your application (s) for work extension, student/visitor permit and Canadian citizenship.  Please note that being diagnosed with latent TB or active TB disease during the IMS process does not affect your immigration status in Canada.

Can I travel if I have not completed my IMS?

Yes, you can travel but you may be questioned at the border or airport when you return to Canada. Your eligibility for OHIP may also be affected. Please direct any further questions regarding OHIP to Service Ontario INFOline at 1-866-532-3161 or visit their website at http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/ohip/.

Will I need to repeat IMS again?

Whenever you renew your temporary residency or change your immigration status, you must undergo another IME and you may be asked by IRCC to repeat the IMS process.
Contact IRCC directly if you have any of the following questions related to your IMS file or a change in address:

  • Why have I been placed on IMS again?
  • What do I do if I am travelling outside Ontario?
  • What do I do if I have inaccurate or missing information on my forms?

The IRCC Call Centre toll free number is 1-888-242-2100 or you can access their online services at www.cic.gc.ca. Please note at this time changes to your address can only be done online through the IRCC website.

Where can I get more information about TB?

You can obtain more information about TB by: