What should the applicant expect at the immigration medical examination?

Ans: USCIS requires the medical examination to protect the public health of U.S.  Immigration medical examination is compulsory to screen the applicant for certain inadmissible medical conditions relevant to U.S. immigration law. During the medical examination, the applicant must show his or her passport or any other photo identification and appointment letter to the doctor. This medical examination includes a review of personal medical history, family medical history, physical examination, chest X-ray, blood tests, etc.

Who must have a medical examination for migration to the United States?

Ans: All immigrants, refugees, and status adjusters must have a physical and medical examination before coming to the United States by a government-authorized doctor, panel physician, or civil surgeon. Immigrants and refugees will have a medical exam in their home country by a panel physician. While in the case of status adjusters, a civil surgeon can perform the medical examination in the geographical boundary of the United States.

What vaccines are required for immigrants and those applying for adjustment of status in the United States?

Ans: As per the requirements of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all applicants depending on their age, are required to have a vaccination against communicable and infectious diseases. The following table further clarifies the requirements of vaccines according to the age group;

Vaccine type according to the disease

Requirement according to the age group

COVID-19 5 years and older
Tetanus and diphtheria

Pertussis

2-11 months (DTP/DTaP/DT)

7-10 years- sometimes (Td/Tdap)

11-65 years (Td/Tdap)

Polio 2-11 months
Measles, Mumps, and Rubella 12 months to 64 years (if born in 1957 or later)
Rotavirus Six weeks to 8 months old
Hib 2 months to 59 months
Hepatitis A 12 months to 23 months
Hepatitis B From birth to 18 years old
Meningococcal 11 years to 18 years
Varicella Over 1 year
Pneumococcal 2 months to 59 months (PVC)

Over 65 (PVS or PPSV)

Influenza Over 6 months

Can a person get a waiver from the vaccine requirement?

Though USCIS and CDC require vaccination for all immigrants, refugees, and non-immigrants but in the following condition, a person may get an exemption from the required vaccinations;

  • Exemption for Medical Reasons.
  • Not age-appropriate
  • Medical risk
  • Not the right time to receive vaccinations
  • Influenza vaccine is not available
  • Exemption for Non-Medical Reasons.
  • Religious exemptions
  • Exemption for Certain Adopted Children.
  • If someone adopted the child from outside of the U.S., complete all vaccination. While vaccination waiver can only be availed for a child under ten years of age if the adoptive parent signs an affirmation to ensure the child completes the vaccinations after they enter the U.S.

It is a separate application process for vaccination waiver cases, as mentioned earlier.

Where can I get the list of surgeons and I-693 Medical Examination Form to have a medical exam for adjustment of status?

Ans: The list of surgeons who are authorized to perform the medical examination of the applicants for adjustment of status and I-693 (Medical Examination Form) both are given on USCIS’s official website. You can also get the updated Form 1-693 from your civil surgeon.

Can I get the medical examination from my family doctor?

Ans: No, only panel physicians can perform the medical examination according to the required protocols of USCIS and CDC. Otherwise, medical results will not be accepted.

How long are the exam results mentioned on the Form I-693 exam valid?

Ans: Form I-693 must be completed, signed, and stamped by a panel physician or civil surgeon. These exam results are valid for only one year. After its expiry, you need to repeat the medical examination from a panel physician or civil surgeon.

How long is the overseas medical examination of applicants valid?

Medical exams are primarily valid for 6 months, except for the examinations with certain T.B. classifications are only valid for three months.

How do I become a Panel Physician?

Ans: To become a panel physician, you must approach U.S. Department of State (DOS) embassies and consulates who are responsible for selecting the panel physicians across the globe. Whereas, CDC only provides technical instructions to panel physicians on how to perform medical examinations for immigration.

How long will medical exam results take to process?

Ans: If you are applying as a temporary resident (visitor, student, worker), it takes about four weeks to process your medical exam results. While in the case of applying for permanent residence, it takes approximately three months.

Can I have a medical exam done in advance to speed up my application?

Ans: It depends upon the immigration category in which you are applying. As we all know, the validation of medical exam results ranges from 3 months to 1 year; after that, you have to repeat the medical examination. In the case of overseas applicants, you can only have a medical examination after receiving your green card interview appointment letter from the National Visa Center.

Is it compulsory for a pregnant woman to have an immigration medical examination?

Ans: It is compulsory for all applicants to have a medical examination, even if you’re pregnant. However, some test that includes specific procedure or rays harmful to the unborn baby may be postponed until after your baby’s birth. In that case, the application will be assessed after completing all medical requirements.

What documents are required to bring to the medical examination?

Ans: Following documents are required to bring to the medical examination;

  • A full copy of your medical history
  • Vaccination and immunization records
  • Any previous copies of chest X-rays
  • A doctor’s letter outlining a treatment plan in case of any health problem.
  • Government-issued photo ID to verify your identity
  • Evidence of payment for medical exam fee
  • Health insurance cards (if applicable)

Which tests are required to perform during Immigration Medical Exam?

Ans: The immigration medical exam consists of your physical examination, review of medical history, chest X-ray, as well as blood tests for syphilis, and a urine test for gonorrhea. While, during the physical exam, the following organs or body parts will be examined; ears, eyes, nose, throat, heart, extremities, lungs, lymph nodes, abdomen, and skin.

Will children also need to undergo these medical tests?

Ans: Children under the age of 15 are usually not required to have chest X-rays and blood tests during immigration medical examination.

How much does the exam cost?

Ans: Across the globe, doctors usually take $100-$500 charges to perform a medical examination. It can be increased or decreased depending upon the urgency of medical examination, number of required tests, geographical presence of panel physician, etc.

How do I schedule the appointment with the civil surgeon for medical examination?

Ans: You are completely free to select the doctor of your own choice for medical examination, but it must be restricted to the panel physician or civil surgeon approved by DOS, CDC, and USCIS. You can find the authorized civil surgeon from USCIS’s official website, or you can also call1-800-375-5283. If you are applying from overseas, you may approach the U.S embassy or consulate in your area to find a panel physician for immigration medical examination.

Is there an extension to I-693 validity with COVID delays?

Ans: USCIS will extend the I-693 validity in the following cases:

  • The civil surgeon’s signature on Form I-693 is dated no more than 60 days before the applicant files Form I-485;
  • The decision on Form I-485 is issued on or before September 30, 2021.

What if an applicant has a learning or intellectual disability?

Ans: If the immigration applicants have any intellectual or learning disabilities, he/they must have to provide evidence of such medical condition to USCIS.

What if I missed having the required vaccination?

Ans: You must be vaccinated before attending your green card interview. If you are not vaccinated till your medical examination due to any reason, you can ask your doctor to administer the required vaccines during the medical examination.

Can the immigration medical exam and/or vaccinations be waived?

Ans: Generally, the medical exam is compulsory for all applicants as a part of the requirements for the visa category you are pursuing. However, if you couldn’t complete your required medical test or vaccination for your visa application due to any medical reason or religious grounds. In these conditions, you can get certain waivers from USCIS as per the recommendation of your panel physician or civil surgeon and evidence of religious requirement.

What happens after the medical exam?

Ans:  It totally depends upon your country of origin. In some countries, you can get medical exam results in a sealed envelope that you will have to take with you to your visa interview. While in some other countries, the physician will send it directly to the embassy.

When to schedule an immigration medical exam?

Ans: All applicants must complete the medical examination and vaccination before you scheduled immigrant visa interview date either you are applying from inside the U.S. or from outside the U.S.

What conditions could make me inadmissible to the U.S.?

Ans: USCIS can deny your green card application if you are going through certain health/medical conditions;

  • An infectious disease that could affect the public health of the U.S.
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Mental or physical disorder
  • Inability to work
  • Incomplete vaccination record

How to avoid ‘Medical Inadmissibility’?

Ans: You can take the following steps to prevent from denial of your green card application;

  • In case of contagious disease and history of drug abuse, you must provide evidence of treatment to USCIS.
  • For the history of mental illness, you should provide evidence of managing your stress effectively.
  • In case of any other serious diseases, you should bring a written statement from your regular doctor that explains how much this disease affects your life, how you manage it during the ordinary course of life, and a medical treatment plan.

Should I stop taking medication? Could the medication I am currently taking affect the medical examination results?

Ans: No, you should not stop taking medication as it will not affect the results of your medical examination. But you are recommended to bring a prescription of your treatment on the day of medical examination.

How much time is required for a medical examination?

Ans: The time of medical examination varies; if the patient brings all the required documents and forms along with them on the day of examination, the process will be complete quickly. Overall, the exam itself usually takes only half an hour.