What to Expect From an Immigration Medical

The immigration medical is an essential part of any green card application. This comprehensive assessment aims to screen potential U.S residents for any health conditions that render them a threat to public safety.

Individuals will be ruled inadmissible if they:

  • Are afflicted by a serious communicable disease.
  • Cannot provide documentation to prove that they are vaccinated against preventable diseases such as measles and polio.
  • Have a history of medical or physical illness that marks them out as a danger to other people or to themselves.
  • Have a history of drug abuse and addiction.

A full list of disqualifying criteria can be found under Section 212(a) of the Immigrations and Nationality Act. However, it should be noted that these rules are not hard and fast, many immigrants that were rendered inadmissible have found success through the filing of an I-192 form. If granted, this petition acts as a legal waiver against any ground of inadmissibility.

The Immigration Medical Process

Although most immigrants pass their medical examinations without any issue, these tests are still carefully regulated to ensure that they are performed with all due care by qualified individuals.

  • Only UCIS-approved civil surgeons are qualified to administer immigration medicals. You can find a list of these individuals on the UCIS website. If you are applying from overseas, then you can find a list of state department-approved providers agency’s website.
  • You do not need to make any special arrangements to schedule an immigration medical. Simply fill out all personal sections of the I-693 form and set up an appointment with an approved provider.
  • It is important to gather all necessary articles before you arrive at the doctor’s appointment. You should have the following documents in hand.
  • An up-to-date list of vaccinations that you have received.
  • Medical records showing details of any existing chronic conditions and medications that you are currently taking.
  • A valid government-issued certification.
  • Your partially completed I-693 form.
  • If you are immigrating alongside a family member that is developmentally disabled, then you should provide a report detailing their special needs.
  • If you have previously been diagnosed with syphilis or tuberculosis, then you should provide medical certifications to show how the circumstances through which the disease was contracted and the subsequent treatment received.
  • Any recent X-Rays performed on your chest.
  • During the medical assessment, the doctor will first take a urine sample which will be tested for gonorrhea. This is followed by a pinprick test for tuberculosis, and finally a blood sample test for syphilis.
  • After these tests have been carried out, you will be taken through a complete physical examination that covers the eyes, ears, nose, lungs, abdomen, skin, heart, and genitalia. If you do not have an up-to-date X-ray of your chest at hand then one will be administered. However, pregnant women may ask to have their X-ray delayed until after childbirth.
  • The doctor will ask you to provide a record of your vaccination history. If you are not vaccinated against any vaccine-preventable illnesses then the necessary shots will be provided.
  • The immigration medical also includes an interview, wherein the patient is asked about their physical and mental health history as well as any past issues with drugs or alcohol.

After the immigration medical is completed the doctor will finish filling out your I-693 form.

If you are applying for your green card from abroad, then the doctor can either provide you with a sealed envelope to present to the immigration authorities or they may submit the results of the examination themselves. For US-based exams, the patient is usually just provided with a sealed envelope for submission during the green card interview. In either case, it is imperative that you do not open the sealed envelope as this will render the results of the test inadmissible.