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Immigration TB Medical Surveillance

Are you new to Canada and living in BC? Have IRCC told you to complete immigration TB medical surveillance? We can help.

Questions & Answers

You probably have a lot of questions about immigration TB medical surveillance. The information below will help you to understand the immigration TB medical surveillance process and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) requirements.

The Canadian Immigrant and Refugee Protection Act mandate includes TB screening in migrants coming to Canada to ensure all newcomers are free of infectious TB disease. The process starts with an Immigration Medical Exam (IME) and, depending on the results, may include TB medical surveillance. 


TB medical surveillance is a health check-up to protect you, your family and the general public against the spread of infectious TB disease. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) requires you to complete TB medical surveillance within Canada.

 
 

‎Find out if you need an Immigration Medical Exam (IME) from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada.

Find a doctor in your country, territory or region for your Immigration Medical Exam (IME). Only Panel Physicians approved by IRCC can do this exam. If you have questions about your IME, contact Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada directly. 

 
 

When you applied to come to Canada to live, work, or visit for six months or more, you had an IME. Your IME showed that you have inactive TB. Inactive TB means that you either may have latent TB infection (a sleeping TB germ) or had active TB disease in the past. Therefore, a TB check-up is required to protect you, your family and the general public. This TB check-up is called Immigration TB medical surveillance.

 

You will receive a Medical Surveillance Undertaking form (IMM 0535B) and a Medical Surveillance Handout: Inactive TB or other Complex Non-Infectious TB from the visa/immigration officer prior to your departure for Canada or from the port-of-entry officer upon arrival to Canada. 


This form tells you when to follow up (either within 30 days or if urgent follow-up is needed, within 7 days) and how to report to public health for TB medical surveillance.

 

If you change your address, phone number or leave Canada before TB medical surveillance is complete, you must provide your updated contact information to us and to IRCC.

  • Contact Provincial TB Services at the Vancouver clinic at 604-707-2692 or in New Westminster clinic at 604-707-2698.
  • Contact IRCC Call Centre at 1-888-242-2100 (toll-free) or by access IRCC's online change my address services.
 
 

The Medical Surveillance Handout: Inactive TB or other Complex Non-Infectious TB that you received tells you when to follow up (either within 30 days or if urgent follow-up is needed, within 7 days).

  • If you live in the greater Vancouver area (lower mainland) you are in the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health areas. Contact Provincial TB Services at the Vancouver clinic at 604-707-2692 or in New Westminster clinic at 604-707-2698.

  • If you live anywhere else in BC, contact public health in your area. Find your local health unit with the ImmunizeBC finder.
 

Wait to be contacted about your first TB check-up.

  • If you live in the greater Vancouver area (lower mainland) you will receive an appointment by mail from Provincial TB Services to come into one of our TB clinics in Vancouver or New Westminster.
  • If you live in another area of BC, public health will contact you to arrange your appointment.
 

Remember to bring valid government-issued photo identification (e.g., passport) and your Medical Surveillance Undertaking form (IMM 0535B) to the appointment. 


The nurse will ask health questions; give you 3 sputum sample bottles, a chest x-ray requisition and may recommend other tests. Others tests may include a tuberculin skin test (TST) or a TB blood test (IGRA). Please complete all the required tests. 

 
 

If you live in the Vancouver and Victoria areas: 

You will have a second TB check-up with a TB Services physician (doctor). The doctor will ask health questions, review your test results with you and may recommend future appointments. 


If you live in other parts of the BC:

Once your testing is completed, a doctor will review your results and make recommendations. Public health will call you after 3 months to review the TB Services physician recommendations including your sputum and chest x-ray results.


Provincial TB Services will send a proof of compliance to IRCC that you have met the requirements of TB medical surveillance. Once IRCC receives this information, they will update your immigration file to reflect that you have met the conditions of TB medical surveillance and send you a letter. You should keep this letter with your immigration documents.

 

The average time to complete Immigration TB medical surveillance in BC is 6-9 months.

 

You may need to pay for some tests required as part of Immigration TB medical surveillance, unless:

  • You have the BC Medical Services Plan (MSP) health insurance coverage. Go to the MSP Eligibility and Enrolment to apply.
  • You have private insurance. Depending on your provider, they may cover some or all of the costs of tests. Please check with your insurance provider.
  • You are a refugee. Refugees and refugee claimants may be eligible for coverage of IMEs and other TB-related medical services through the Interim Federal Health Program.
 
 

If you develop signs and symptoms of active TB disease, speak to your healthcare provider right away or call your nurse. We can help you get medical care.


Some symptoms of active TB disease include:

  • cough for two weeks or more
  • fever
  • coughing up blood
  • sweating at night
  • constant tiredness
  • loss of weight and/or appetite

Learn more about TB in the HealthLinkBC file Tuberculosis.

 

No. If active TB disease is found during TB medical surveillance, it does not affect your immigration status in Canada or your family's status. Active TB Disease can be treated and cured. Active TB disease treatment is free in BC. A nurse will work with you and your health care provider while you are being treated.

 

Yes, Immigration TB medical surveillance does affect your application status because it is an IRCC requirement. IRCC calls it a "condition of landing." You need to go for the TB medical surveillance check-up before this condition can be removed from your immigration file.

 
If you leave the country before completing your TB medical surveillance, it does impact your immigration status. Failure to comply with all the conditions of your TB medical surveillance may be reportable under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and could have a negative impact on your immigration status. 

For example, your visa or permit might not be renewed or extended until you have complied fully with all the conditions of your TB medical surveillance. Or you could be denied Canadian citizenship until you provide proof that you have complied with the terms of your TB medical surveillance.

Please tell Public Health and IRCC if you plan to leave the country prior to completing your TB medical surveillance.

 
SOURCE: Immigration TB Medical Surveillance ( )
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