Immigration Medical Uncovered

I previously blogged about my application for Canadian Permanent Residency through the BC Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), and I’m excited be writing an update on my progress. Since applying to the PNP in February I have received my Certificate of Nomination (April), applied to the federal office for Permanent Residency (July), had my forms returned for missing a signature (August) and applied for a second time (September). My application was officially ‘received’ by Citizenship & Immigration Canada on September 13th (though I didn’t receive notification of this until mid-October) and I was expecting to wait another 4-6 months before hearing any further news. To my surprise, on November 9th an email arrived in my inbox with instructions for undergoing a medical examination. Progress!

I knew I had to go through a medical exam as part of the application process, but I had no idea what was involved. The email included a list of approved medical practitioners in BC, so I looked up the ones in Vancouver to get an idea of how much this was going to cost. I’d assumed it wasn’t going to be cheap, but my jaw dropped when I discovered that the total cost of the medical exam was $260 per person. Granted, this included all aspects of the exam plus all the paperwork and sending of the documents to Ottawa by express mail, but still…$260 each?! At this point I didn’t have a choice, so I took a deep breath and booked the first appointment available on the upcoming Friday afternoon.

All in the name of (one day) a Canadian passport. Only three-and-a-bit years to go!

All in the name of (one day) a Canadian passport. Only three-and-a-bit years to go!

The doctor I’d chosen had a nice looking website and was situated in one of the medical buildings in Downtown Vancouver. I arrived at the office with my passport, three passport photos and the medical form the CIC had sent me. After filing out a patient registration form I was sent straight downstairs to the X-Ray room with the first set of papers. There I paid $50 to change into a hospital robe for a front and back chest X-Ray (technically two X-Rays as the first one didn’t work, or something). I went back upstairs to the doctor’s office to report on my process, and went into the medical examination. After testing my vision and checking my height and weight I was ushered into the examination room and asked to undress and wrap myself in a weird, synthetic sheet. When I was ready the doctor came in and proceeded to literally poke and prod me for the next five minutes. The final test was a sharp tap right below my kneecaps which had me shrieking in hysterics, so unexpected was it. The doctor did not seem amused, and simply let me know that everything was fine.

After paying $150 for the examination and mailing of all related paperwork, I was sent downstairs to my final stop: the blood clinic. It was surprisingly busy for 4pm on a Friday afternoon, so I took a number and settled in with a magazine for a long wait. 60 minutes later and I was next in line, waiting for that magic number 79 to be called. Fate chose that exact moment to punish me for taking my Friday afternoon off work by shutting off the power on the entire floor. I guess it could have been worse; the needle could have been in my arm when the lights went out, but it was a poor consolation when the nurse informed us all that they would have to close the clinic. I stomped off in frustration to enjoy my weekend before coming back in bright and early for 7:30am on Monday morning. Not surprisingly, I was the only patient in the clinic when I came back for round two and was very quickly seen to. The final payment of $60 was for two blood samples and one urine test, all over in less than 10 minutes. Finally.

My boyfriend had his exam that afternoon, and we were told we’d hear by the end of the week if there were any problems with our paperwork. Friday came and went, so fingers crossed our results are safely winging their way to the CIC office in Ottawa. My application status on the website is still stuck on ‘Application Received’, but if the experience of others is anything to go by it could be turning to ‘Decision Made’ in as little as two months. Bring on early 2013…you’ll hear it here first!

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Application Timeline

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About MarmitetoMaple

I'm originally from the UK and have been working and living the dream in Vancouver, BC, since January 2011. I am a firm believer in travel, good cheese, volunteering and community engagement.

5 responses to “Immigration Medical Uncovered”

  1. Alice says :

    Haha I went through the exact same thing! Twice actually, once for aus and one more extensively for the us. USA one was done in London though, but it was just as bloody expensive! In aus we had to stand in line for the xray wearing nothing but a paper gown tied at the side with string. Every time the wind blew Everybody had to cover their bits! It was a bit awkward and done inside the immigration center for some reason. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for ya Lizzie! 🙂 xxx

    • marmitetomaple says :

      Such a nightmare isn’t it?! I had the same paper gown for the X-Ray but luckily could keep my jeans on! Thanks for crossing the fingers, maybe by the time I see you I’ll be official! xx

  2. Emma says :

    Fingers are firmly crossed for you Lizzie – thank you for sharing your experience. It’s a great heads up for if I choose to go down a similar path!

  3. Jenny H says :

    Hey quick question 🙂 we spoke in June regarding my application. We had medicals in April and send right of perm res fee off that same month. We are now in September and I am wondering, when you got your email requesting Medicals and supporting documents, was the address to send these documents in London, UK or within Canada. I am getting a little anxious ! I have checked the status on CIC and all its says is medicals received, nothing more. I was just checking out your timeline and your the time between you doing the medicals and actually getting confirmation of perm res is a lot shorter than mine is proving to be.

    • marmitetomaple says :

      Hi Jenny, great to hear from you! I just went back and checked and it looks like the medicals went to the CIO office in Sydney, Nova Scotia, then the supporting docs to Ottawa. It sounds like you got the right of perm res email much quicker than me, I waited about 6 months in total since the medicals, so I’m sure it’s fine. So annoying when some things move faster than others!

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