Tuberculosis (TB) Medical Surveillance
If you live in Toronto and are required to complete TB medical surveillance, you must call Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600. Language interpreters are available.
TB medical surveillance is a medical check-up for a person who is newly arrived in Canada to check that they do not have active TB disease. This is a requirement of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
When you applied to come to Canada to live, work, or visit for six months or more, you were required to have an Immigration Medical Exam (IME) by an IRCC doctor. Your IME showed that you have inactive TB or had TB disease in the past. This means you have a higher risk of getting sick with TB in the future. Therefore, a second TB check-up is required to protect you, your family and the general public.
1. Speak to a Tuberculosis (TB) nurse
If you live in Toronto you must call Toronto Public Health (TPH) at 416-338-7600 and speak with a TB nurse. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) should have given you a Medical Surveillance Undertaking form (also referred to as IMM 0535) or an In-Canada Public Health follow-up letter as part of your immigration papers. You must call TPH:
- within 30 days of entering Canada or upon receiving the In-Canada Follow-up letter or;
- within seven days of entering Canada or upon receiving the In-Canada Follow-up letter if you have been identified as an urgent referral
The nurse will ask for your name, address, immigration information, and ask you about your health, including past history of TB. The nurse may also ask for a copy of your IMM 0535 form or In-Canada Follow-up letter. If you do not speak English, you may ask someone to speak for you.
2. Receive letter package from Toronto Public Health
Your TB nurse will send you a TB medical assessment form and a letter with instructions on how to complete TB medical surveillance.
3. See a health care provider
Bring the letter package to a health care provider (i.e., doctor or nurse practitioner) of your choice in Ontario. The health care provider will ask health questions, order a chest x-ray and other tests if necessary. After all the tests are done, make sure your health care provider faxes your completed form and test results to TPH at fax number 416-338-8149.
4. Review by TB nurse
Once all of your medical reports have been received by TPH, your TB nurse will review them. The nurse may contact you if further follow-up is required.
5. Completion of TB medical surveillance
TPH will notify IRCC that you have complied with the requirements of TB medical surveillance. TPH will send you a letter as proof of compliance. You should keep this letter with your immigration documents. You do not need to send the letter to IRCC.
The average time for tuberculosis medical surveillance in Toronto is six months. Toronto Public Health will provide you with a due date to complete your medical check-up.
The cost of tuberculosis (TB) medical surveillance in Ontario can be covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). To find out if you are eligible, please check the Service Ontario INFOline at 1-800-268-1154 or see the Ministry of Health’s Apply for OHIP and Get a Health Card web page.
If you are not eligible for OHIP and do not have any insurance coverage, you must pay the costs for the TB medical surveillance check-up. Costs are variable.
Tuberculosis (TB) medical surveillance is a requirement by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). IRCC calls it a “condition of landing.” You will need to go for the TB medical surveillance check-up before this condition can be removed from your immigration file.
If you do not complete TB medical surveillance, IRCC may not give you a visa extension, new visa or permanent residency, or even citizenship. You will have to get the medical surveillance check-up before they will accept any new applications from you.
If you leave the country before completing TB medical surveillance you may be questioned at the border/airport the next time you return to Canada.
If you have active tuberculosis (TB) disease, a TB nurse from Toronto Public Health will work with you and your health care provider while you are being treated. Being diagnosed with active TB disease does not affect your immigration status in Canada or your family’s status. TB treatment is free of charge in Ontario even if you do not have health insurance.
It is important to tell us if you change your address, phone number or leave the country while you are on tuberculosis (TB) medical surveillance.
You may also need to repeat TB medical surveillance if you renew your visa or change your immigration status.
If you develop signs and symptoms of active TB before you have your TB medical surveillance check-up, speak to your healthcare provider right away or call your TB nurse at Toronto Public Health. We can help you get medical care. Symptoms of active TB may include:
- cough for two weeks or more
- coughing up blood
- sweating at night
- constant tiredness
- loss of weight and/or appetite