2.A Refugees: From Eligibility to Arrival
A.6 How are refugees screened?
(ii) What should refugees be screened for to ensure they do not pose a risk to public health?
How Canada Does It
Canada requires refugee applicants to undergo medical examinations to ensure they do not pose a danger to public health or safety in Canada. Active pulmonary tuberculosis and untreated syphilis are considered a danger to public health.
It is recommended that refugees request a copy of their medical results and vaccination record from the physician that does their medical examination overseas. These documents are useful to bring to medical visits once in Canada.
Unlike other immigrants and visitors to Canada, refugee applicants will not be found to be inadmissible to Canada if they have health issues that may cause excessive demand on health or social services (Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, s. 38(2), Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, Reg. 139(4)). Refugee applicants will only be found to be inadmissible if they are found to pose a risk to public health or be a danger to public safety (Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, s. 38(1)-(2)).
DANGER TO PUBLIC HEALTH: Active pulmonary tuberculosis and untreated syphilis are considered conditions that pose a risk to public health.
DANGER TO PUBLIC SAFETY: Refugees assessed to have a risk of sudden incapacity or unpredictable or violent behavior (e.g. mental health conditions, sociopathic disorders) may be considered risks to public safety and inadmissible to Canada.
A medical examination includes any or all of the following (Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, Reg. 29):
- A physical examination;
- A mental examination;
- A review of past medical history;
- Laboratory tests;
- Diagnostic tests; and
- A medical assessment of records respecting the applicant.
If a refugee applicant has a treatable condition, that person may receive treatment and undergo a subsequent medical evaluation to satisfy the visa officer that he or she no longer poses a risk to public health or danger to public safety and is therefore admissible to Canada.