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    U.S. Immigration Medical Exam

    When you want to apply for a Green card or permanent residency, you must take the U.S. Immigration Medical Exam. The test is also mandatory for all family members seeking a family-based green card. In addition, you need to prove to the officials that you are healthy and pose no threats to the U.S. public. No physician or doctor can conduct the test, and you must pass it with the authorized ones. The doctor evaluates the following items in an applicant:

    • Applicant’s mental and physical examination
    • Review over medical history, immunization, and vaccine record
    • Screening for drug and alcohol
    • Checking for different types of illnesses and diseases

    The U.S. immigration medical exam makes plenty of applicants nervous due to its importance. However, it is normal, and you don’t need to worry. First, applicants seldom fail the U.S. medical test. Second, you can become ready for this test with enough preparation. Preparing in advance can increase your confidence and make the exam less stressful.

    Who can do the immigration medical exam?

    Two types of doctors are qualified to perform your medical exam. Whether you apply from inside the U.S. or abroad specifies the type of doctor you need to visit.

    • If you are a domestic applicant from inside the U.S., You will need to visit a civil surgeon designated by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
    • If you are an applicant from abroad, you must visit a panel physician authorized by the U.S. Department of State.

    What happens at an immigration medical exam?

    The Immigration Medical Exam is mainly required for green card applicants. This is because the authorities can ensure via this exam that the person who will become a citizen will pose no health risk to the public. You must bring form I-693 (officially called the “Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record”) to the medical exam session so the doctor can complete it.

    The green card medical exam is so different from your routine physical. Your doctor will not give you a “pass” or “fail” grade based on your health. Instead, during the medical exam, the doctor asks questions to check your immunization and medical history by asking general and specific questions about your health.

    The following are the parts of the test:

    • A tuberculosis test
    • Vaccination screening
    • Medical history review
    • Physical exam
    • Mental exam
    • Drug and alcohol screening
    • Blood and urine screening

    A Tuberculosis test

    CDC has different guidelines related to tuberculosis testing for surgeons and physicians in and out of the U.S.

    Applying Inside the United States

    CDC guidelines state that all green card applicants aged two and older must visit a civil surgeon and do a tuberculosis technical test. The green card applicants must undergo an “interferon-gamma release assay” (IGRA) test. Since October 1, 2018, IGRA has become the alternative test for the tuberculin skin test (TST). IGRA is the only accepted tuberculosis test for all green card applicants.

    If there isn’t a problem with your test, you will not need to return to the doctor’s office to get the IGRA results. However, when an applicant shows symptoms of tuberculosis, they have to return to the doctor’s office for a chest X-ray and further testing.

    Applying from abroad

    CDC guidelines state that all green card applicants aged 15 or older must visit a panel physician and have a chest X-ray. If the X-ray shows symptoms of tuberculosis, you may be asked to go back to the doctor’s office for further testing, such as a review of your medical history and physical checkups.

    Vaccination screening

    You need to obtain all the necessary vaccines before attending your green card interview, and it is the doctor’s responsibility to ensure that you’ve received all the required vaccines. When your doctor examines you, they should be able to provide any vaccines you are missing.

    Note: Since the COVID-19 outbreak, applicants must show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 when they attend the green card medical exam.

    Medical history review

    The doctor or staff members of the clinic will ask questions related to your medical history. They try to know if you ever:

    • Were hospitalized.
    • Experienced significant events.
    • Have you had a chronic physical or mental condition that forced you to stay in an institution?
    • Experienced  a “substantial departure from a normal state of well-being or level of functioning.”

    In addition, the doctor will ask about drug abuse habits. A candidate found to be addicted to drugs or an abuser of drugs is ineligible. However, former drug addicts who are in remission are considered eligible. In addition, applicants labeled as drug abusers or addicts can reapply for permanent residence if their drug abuse or addiction is in remission. Before taking the green card medical exam, consult with an immigration attorney if you have a history of drug abuse, even if it’s not listed in your medical records.

    Physical exam

    The doctor will perform physical examinations on you. These examinations are to check the general organs and body parts. The physical exam is designed to check your:

    • Eyes
    • Ears
    • Nose
    • Throat
    • Extremities
    • Heart
    • Lungs
    • Abdomen
    • Lymph nodes
    • Skin
    • External genitalia

    The doctor will most likely require you to do a chest X-ray and blood test to check for syphilis.

    Note: Children do not need to do the X-ray and blood test. If you are pregnant, contact the U.S. embassy or consular office and ask about the postponement.

    Mental exam

    To assess your intelligence, the doctor will do a mental status exam. This mental exam examines your:

    • Comprehension
    • Judgment
    • Affect
    • Mood
    • Behavior

    You are considered ineligible if you show any signs related to physical or mental disorders and harmful behavior. There are two categories of ineligibility:

    • Current conditions of the mind or body that result in harmful behavior.
    • Past disorders of the mind or body result in harmful behavior that is likely to happen again or result in other harmful behavior.

    Drug and alcohol screening

    In addition to asking about your current and past use of drugs and alcohol, the doctor may also ask about any prescription medicines you are taking.

    Blood and urine screening

    All green card applicants, who are 15 or older, must go through a blood test and a urine test. The blood test checks for syphilis, and the urine test checks for gonorrhea. All applicants must do these tests regardless of whether they are applying from within the United States or abroad.

    What to Take to your medical exam

    There are several documents to take to your medical examination. Based on the location of your exam, you might be requested to bring additional documents. If you are applying from abroad, visit the U.S. embassy and provide specific guidance for your country. Here is a list of general documents you need to take for a medical exam for a U.S. green card::

    • A valid passport or photo identification from another government
    • Proof of vaccination
    • Form I-693. This form is a report of the Medical Examination and Vaccination Record.
    • The examination fee
    • The issued number of U.S. passport photos (if you are applying from abroad, check with the consular office or the U.S. embassy)
    • Detailed information about the condition and possibly special education needs (only if anyone in the family suffers from a learning disability while immigrating).
    • A detailed list of treatments and medications (if you have a chronic medical condition that is being treated or taking medicine regularly)
    • Tuberculosis certificate from your doctor. Suppose you have had tuberculosis or syphilis in the past and were treated. In that case, you need a Tuberculosis certificate or Certificate of clearance signed by a doctor or public health official to support your claim.
    • If you have a history of harming or injuring people or animals, reveal enough information that the doctor can determine whether the behavior resulted from a psychiatric or medical problem or drug or alcohol abuse.
    • If you have a history of treatment or hospitalization for psychiatric or mental illness or alcohol or drug abuse, you need a written certification stating the diagnosis and length of treatment.

    Immigration vaccinations for the green card

    The Immigration and Nationality Act and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) require all applicants to be vaccinated with a series of vaccines. At the medical exam session, the doctor must ensure you have had all the required vaccinations. Here you can see a list of these required mandatory vaccines:

    • Mumps
    • Measles
    • Rubella
    • Polio
    • Tetanus
    • Diphtheria toxoids
    • Pertussis
    • Haemophilus influenza type B
    • Hepatitis B
    • Varicella
    • Influenza
    • Pneumococcal pneumonia
    • Rotavirus
    • Hepatitis A
    • Meningococcal

    COVID-19 vaccines for a green card

    On October 1, 2021, a new law was passed stating that most new green card applicants must be fully vaccinated against Coronavirus. If applicants have not received their vaccines, the U.S. government will flag them ineligible to enter the United States. This new law applies to:

    • Applicants for adjustment of status inside the U.S.
    • Applications for consular processing outside the United States.

    If you have received a vaccine that the FDA disapproves of, the Immigration officials might ask you to get vaccinated again with an FDA-approved vaccine.

    How to Prove Vaccination Status

    During your medical examination, you must prove to the doctor that you have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The best way to prove this claim is to provide proof such as:

    • Records related to your official vaccination
    • A photocopy of a medical chart

    The record should include the applicant’s name, the day the vaccine was administered, and the location where the vaccine was received.

    COVID vaccine waiver

    Some applicants might be eligible for a waiver of the COVID-19 vaccination requirement. Vaccination waivers might be provided for the following:

    • Age
    • Contraindication (adverse vaccine reaction or allergies)
    • Vaccines not routinely available
    • Religious or moral convictions

    How much is the cost of the Immigration Medical Exam?

    The cost of the Immigration Medical Exam differs based on the civil surgeon you visit, and it is better to check with a few doctors to find out how much they will charge you for your immigration medical exam.

    Do not forget to consider the indirect costs of the exam. For example, authorized doctors might not be available in your area; therefore, you might need to travel to the nearest city or town where a certified civil surgeon is available. 

    U.S. Immigration Medical Exam near me in Summerlin

    Southern Nevada Family Medicine provides the U.S. Immigration Medical Exam in Summerlin to people who want to apply for a green card or permanent residency. Dr. Amir Nicknam is the verified physician by the government to conduct the tests and provide the confirmed test result. Contact us at 702-843-6629 to reserve your medical examination and receive further information.