Does Your Tattoo Affect Your Canada Medical Exam Result?

While some people don’t admire tattoos, others believe it’s an art. People get tattooed for various reasons: self-expression, rebellion, fashion, artistic freedom, attention, spiritual or cultural traditions, and others. But if you’re applying for an immigration visa for Canada, will it affect your medical examination result?

Medical Reasons You May Be Inadmissible to Canada

Whether for a short visit, study, work, or live permanently, you need to undergo a medical exam performed by an approved panel physician. If you live outside Canada, almost all countries have panel doctors. If you’re inside the country, you can find them everywhere, including an immigration physician Ottawa team if you’re nearby.

Here are the top three reasons you may be denied entry to Canada:

1. Danger to Public Health

The Canadian government’s priority is to care for its citizens and permanent residents, including their health. Depending on the result of your medical exam, Canada’s immigration officials will consider your laboratory tests and any other reports from medical experts designated by the immigration. 

In addition, your application may be refused if you have the following infectious diseases:

  • Tuberculosis
  • Active syphilis
  • If you’ve been in direct contact with other people with infectious disease

2. Danger to Public Safety

You may be considered a danger to public safety if the result of your medical exam shows risks of:

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

3. Excessive Demand on Health or Social Services

The Canadian government may also refuse your application if they believe that your health condition can cause excessive health and social services demand. Again, this is based on your medical exam result. Your condition may be considered to cause an excessive demand if:

  • The services required to manage and treat your health condition would tend to 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 the country.

Who Are Exempt from Medical Inadmissibility to Canada?

Everybody who wishes to enter Canada to study, visit, work, or live permanently must undergo a medical exam. However, the following are exempt from the excessive demand threshold:

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

How to Improve Application Success?

Before your application, make sure that you meet the requirements to be considered admissible to Canada. You also need to know the Canadian immigration medical examination process because your medical exam result is one of the deciding factors if you will be admitted or not.

On top of these, if you know you have medical and mental conditions that can potentially affect your medical exam result, you may need to consider working with medical and legal immigration professionals. 


Since the Canadian immigration laws did not directly include having a tattoo as inadmissible, tattooed applicants must be fine. However, your panel physician may request you undergo an additional test, such as the Hepa B antigen screening. You also have to consider that some companies or employers may not allow workers with tattoos.

Be prepared to explain what your tattoo means if they ask. You may consider looking for a document that explains it. For example, if you have a tattoo with your child’s name, you can present their birth certificate. Here’s a page you can visit for more information about Canada’s immigration medical exam process.

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