Things to Watch for in the New Medical Process for Sponsorship Applications


stethoscopr and globeI don’t blame you if you are a little confused collecting documents for a sponsorship application that you’re going to be submitting.

In many checklists, the applicant is still told to include a medical receipt for a medical performed by a panel physician.  So you dutifully call a panel physician and make an appointment.  Maybe he or she even sent you an old Appendix C to complete and bring with you to the appointment.

When you arrive, he or she asks you if you have your forms from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.You state that you need the medical receipt to file the application.  This conversation could go on for some time.

Let’s hope that it didn’t get quite that far.  A good panel physician should advise you before you arrive that there is now a new system in place.  CIC has implemented the “Global Case Management System” which is pretty impressive.  For the first time, CIC has a single integrated computer system to manage all immigration and citizenship applications.  This system should mean faster processing times (in terms of efficiency with regard to data input and communication with applicants).

It also means that every applicant gets a unique client identifier number with a corresponding bar code.

How does this relate to sponsorship applications?

The old Appendix C system does not integrate well with the new GCMS. The new process requires sponsorship applicants to file their applications (either at Mississauga or Vegreville, depending on the type of application).  After they are received, then CIC will email customized forms to the applicant with – you guessed it – bar codes on those forms.

You then take these emailed medical forms to a panel physician for your medical.

Seems straightforward but there are some things you should watch for under this new system.

The most important thing is to provide an email address in your application form, and watch that email address (and the spam folder) so you see the forms come in.  You don’t want them sitting in your inbox or in a spam folder – that will delay your application.

An advantage of this new system is possibly one less medical you’ll have to take.  Medicals are only good for one year, and under the previous system of up-front medicals, the time between when the medical was taken and when the application was assessed often exceeded one year, which meant taking another expensive medical.

Under this new system, the medical is taken well after the file is in the queue, meaning it’s shelf life will be longer.

Finally, be sure not to let your panel physician talk you into using the old Appendix C system – it’s not being used any longer and I’ve run into some panel physicians lately who are unclear about the new process.

So now you can add medicals (along with criminal record checks) to the documents that you don’t need in order to file your application.  Rather, they can be added later in the process, after you get into the processing queue.

About the author

Gianpaolo Panusa Gianpaolo Panusa is a Canadian immigration lawyer, writer, and founder of the PanCanadian Immigration Law Group based in Vancouver, Canada. Google+ Profile