Canada Immigration Medical Exam: Is Having a Tattoo an Issue for a Canadian Visa?

Though some people don’t admire tattoos, others see them as art. People get tattooed for different reasons, including self-expression, rebellion, fashion, artistic freedom, attention, spiritual or cultural traditions, etc. But for individuals applying for a Canadian visa, will it be a concern?

If you’re planning to go to Canada for a short visit, study, work, or live permanently and worry about your tattoo, the following are some essential facts you need to know.

Medical Reasons You May Be Inadmissible to Canada

All visa applicants for Canada need to undergo a medical exam performed by an approved panel physician. If you currently reside outside Canada, almost all countries have panel doctors. 

Here are the major reasons they will deny your entry to Canada:

1. Danger to Public Health

Like other nations, the Canadian government wants to protect its citizens and permanent residents, including their health. Based on the result of your medical exam, immigration officials will consider your laboratory tests and any other reports from medical experts designated by the immigration. 

Generally, they refuse applications of candidates with the following conditions:

  • Tuberculosis
  • Active syphilis
  • If you had direct contact with other people with infectious disease

2. Danger to Public Safety

If the result of your medical test shows the following, they will see you as a threat to public safety:

  • Unpredictable or violent behavior
  • Loss of physical and mental abilities or sudden incapacity

3. Excessive Demand on Health or Social Services

The immigration officials may also deny your application if they believe that your health condition may cause excessive health and social services demand, based on your medical exam result. The following conditions are considered, according to the Canadian government, to cause too much demand:

  • The needed services to manage and treat your health condition would cost more than the excessive demand cost threshold.
  • The health or social services to treat your health condition would negatively impact wait times for services in Canada.

Who Are Exempt from Medical Inadmissibility to Canada?

  • Refugees and their dependents
  • Protected individuals and some people who their family sponsored: dependent children, spouses, common-law partners.

How to Improve Application Success?

Prior to your application, it’s always best to ensure that you meet the requirements to be considered admissible to Canada. Sit down and take time to research and understand the Canadian immigration medical examination process because the result is one of the deciding factors whether the officials will approve your application or not. Also, look for an approved panel doctor or facility near you.

You can also check the CIC website for the list of approved physicians, including an immigration physician Ottawa area if you’re already living in the country. On top of these, if you know you have medical and mental conditions that can potentially affect your medical result, consider working with medical and legal immigration professionals. 


Tattooed visa candidates for Canada should not worry since Canadian immigration did not directly cite having a tattoo as inadmissible. But your panel physician may request you to have an additional test, like the Hepa B antigen screening.

Also, note that some companies or employers may not allow workers with tattoos, which occurs not only in Canada.To be safe, be ready and prepared to explain what your tattoo means if they ask. If you can, look for a document that explains it. For instance, you can present your child’s birth certificate if you have a tattoo with their name. You may visit here for more information about the Canadian immigration process.