Tests required by Canadian immigration

In addition to an examination by a Panel Physician, IRCC requires the following routine test and investigations.

Chest X-ray

This is very important to the Canadian government, because of the rising incidence of tuberculosis (TB) in Canada and the rising prevalence of drug-resistant TB worldwide. A TB infection can develop very slowly and without symptoms. All applicants aged 11 and over must have a chest X-ray.

What if the chest X-ray is abnormal

In many countries, large numbers of people have been exposed to TB and developed full or partial immunity to it. They may have a permanent scar or other residue from it in the lung that is visible on the X-ray. This residue may still reactivate after many years and cause disease, as well as infect other people. If your X-ray shows such a suspicious residue, you may be required to repeat the X-ray in 3 months and have sputum culture tests to rule out an active or evolving TB. If there is an active infection, you will be treated at no cost. Nobody is expelled from Canada because of this! But they have to comply with the TB Control protocols.

Blood test for HIV

Although this is a screening test, meant to detect HIV in people who may be unaware of having it, we have not had such a case for many years in our clinic. It is required for all adults (15 and over), even if they know they are HIV positive.

What if the HIV test is abnormal

If your HIV test is positive, you almost certainly already know about it and are already on effective treatment, which is widely available. This presents no problem for immigration.

Blood test for syphilis

As, with TB, the incidence of syphilis has been rising and our Public Health is very concerned about it. All immigration aplicants who are 15 or older must have this test.

What if the syphilis test is abnormal

Unfortunately, this test cannot easily distinguish an active infection from an infection that was already treated, even a long time ago. Most of our clients with a positive syphilis test were treated many years ago and are understandably annoyed and embarrassed that this keeps coming up every time they have this test. Usually, a repeat test in 2 weeks is recommended to clarify the situation. If the repeat test is unchanged, it suggests no active disease. In doubtful cases, Public Health recommends re-treatment. Treatment for syphilis is very quick, easy, safe, effective, and free.

Blood test for serum creatinine

Serum creatinine (usually expressed as Glomerular Filtration Rate) is a very important and accurate test for detecting kidney disease. Since the treatment of advanced kidney disease is very expensive and long lasting, immigration is concerned about its impact on public finances.

What if the serum creatinine test is abnormal

Immigration will probably request a medical furtherance report from a nephrologist (kidney specialist). They will want to hear what the chances are that the person will require kidney dialysis or a transplantation in the next 5 years.

Urine test

This checks for blood, protein and glucose in the urine. This test is still required, even though it's is falling out of favour as a screening test because of extremely high false positives. Nevertheless, everybody aged 5 or older must have it.

What if the urine test is abnormal

This is quite likely. About 10% of our clients have minor abnormalities in the urine. Most of these are quite meaningless and can safely be ignored. Immigration is well aware of this and have de-emphasized the impact of this test, in favour of serum creatinine. Still, if the protein content in the urine is very high, it may suggest kidney disease and, if glucose content is high, it suggests diabetes. Your Panel Physician will advise you if the abnormality is something that you should follow up with your own doctor.
Dr. W. P. Ciszak Medical Services Inc.
VANCOUVER IMMIGRATION MEDICAL SERVICES
777 Hornby Street, Suite 805
Vancouver, BC, V6Z 1S4, Canada