U.S. Immigration Medical Exams: What to Expect

For immigration to the United States (“U.S.”), an Immigration Medical Exam is mandatory regardless of whether your green card application is based on employment, family, political asylum or any other means. The primary purpose behind the need for a medical exam lies in ensuring that you are not inadmissible to the United States on public health grounds.

Your regular doctor cannot undertake the exam. If you are applying from somewhere outside the United States for entering and residing permanently in the U.S., you must undergo a medical exam by a physician certified by the Department of State. In case you are already in the U.S. and want to reside there permanently, you will be required to go through a medical exam by a doctor certified by USCIS.

Medical exams are also necessary for applicants who wish to simply “adjustment” their status (Form I-485). It may also be necessary for some “V” nonimmigrant status (Form I-539).

What Health Issues Can Stop You of Gaining Admission to the United States?

Don’t be afraid. The common cold likely won’t stop you from gaining admittance to the United States. You can be refused admissibility only if you have a more serious communicable disease or disorder that may cause harm to you as well as others around you. If you are applying to visit or reside in the United States, regardless of whether it is on a temporary visa or a permanent green card, it is necessary to prove that you are not presenting any health risk.

Your admission may be denied if you:

  • Have communicable disease;
  • Don’t have the requisite vaccinations;
  • Have had a mental or a physical disorder that caused you to engage in behavior harmful to others; or
  • Come with a history of drug addiction.

What Can You Expect During the Medical Exam?

During the immigration medical exam, the physician is likely to review vaccinations, medical records, and laboratory results, in addition to performing a physical examination.

The physician will speak with you, review your medical and vaccination history and order a chest x-ray and blood tests.

Depending on your vaccination history, you can expect to receive vaccines which you had not received. As a part of the medical examination, all the immigrants need to be assessed for the following diseases:

  • Mumps;
  • Rubella;
  • Polio;
  • Measles;
  • Pertussis;
  • Tetanus and diphtheria;
  • Hepatitis B; and
  • Other vaccine preventable ailments recommended by ACIP.

Remember that vaccines would not be medically appropriate if:

  • It is not recommended for a given age group; or
  • You could not complete the series within a given period of time.

Completion of Form

Print and bring a recent version of Form I-693 when you attend the medical exam appointment. Fill out the first part of the form but avoid putting your signature on it till you are instructed to do so by the civil surgeon. 
The civil surgeon will record the results found on I-693.

The designated civil surgeon will complete and then seal the form along with the supporting documents in an envelope. Make sure that you don’t open the seal or the envelope. The form will not be accepted if it is not in a sealed envelope or has been tampered with in any way.

You can take the sealed result directly for the visa interview. Occasionally, the doctor may send the results to the Consulate directly as well.

If there are irregularities in the medical exam, remember that the doctor is just providing a medical opinion. He has the right to make recommendations. USCIS or the Consulate will have the final verdict on whether you may be allowed admission to the United States.

Remember that medical exam is just one of the steps to get a green card or immigrant visa. There are several other steps involved here. If you need any assistance, you can seek the help of a Florida immigration attorney. They will answer all your questions about the medical exam as well as assist you to complete the application.

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