Tuberculosis (TB) Medical Surveillance

What is Tuberculosis (TB) medical surveillance?

TB medical surveillance is a medical check-up for people who come to Canada to find out if they might have active TB. When people apply to come to Canada for more than 6 months they need to have a medical exam called an Immigration Medical Examination (IME) as part of their visa application process. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) looks at the exam results to see if there is a risk of a latent TB infection becoming active TB disease.

If the IME shows that a person is healthy but has a history of active TB or possible latent TB infection, they can still come to Canada. They will need to have TB medical surveillance after they arrive. If a person applies to extend their visitor, work or student visa or wants to change their immigration status, they may need to have another IME done in Canada.

What happens during TB medical surveillance?

IRCC will notify Public Health when someone needs TB medical surveillance. If you need medical surveillance, Public Health will contact you to start the process, which includes:

  • A phone call with a Public Health Nurse who will review your medical history, provide health information, and send you forms to take to a health care provider. An interpreter can be included on the call if necessary.
  • A visit to a health care provider, like a doctor or walk-in clinic, for a medical check-up and referral for a chest x-ray.
  • A chest x-ray at a local x-ray clinic.
  • Other tests that the doctor may recommend to make sure you don't have active TB.

The health care provider will send their reports to Public Health. When the medical surveillance reports have been reviewed by Public Health and the process is completed, Public Health will inform IRCC. Public Health will also send you a letter to let you know that your medical surveillance is finished.

Note: If you have active TB and/or are taking treatment for TB in Canada, it will not affect your immigration status and Public Health will provide TB medications free of charge.

For more information, see the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website.

For specific questions about TB Medical Surveillance in Waterloo Region, please call 519-575-4400.

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