Green Card, I-693 Form, Immigration Exam, Immigration Medical Exam, Medical Exam

What do you need to know about Immigration Physical Exam?

Immigration physical exam is also known as immigration medical exam or a part of it. This exam includes the physical trials or tests of the applicant’s body parts, such as chest X-rays, and blood tests.

All the immigrants applying for residency or green card in the United States can undergo this exam. However, children under 15 years of age and pregnant women are exempted from X-rays and blood test requirements because these tests can harm their health in certain conditions; however, they require all immunizations. 


The primary purpose of a green card medical exam is to ensure that a relative green card applicant has no health condition that could make him ineligible for a green card. This immigration physical exam is designed to protect the health of the U.S. population from epidemics or diseases through immigrants.


The form required for an immigration physical exam is I-693. You can download it online from the USCIS website as it’s essential to bring it with you to the doctor’s office. 


Its cost varies based on location and expertise of doctor, but many applicants have reported paying between 100 to 500 dollars.

Instruction to submit Form I-693:

  • Download the most up-to-dated Form from USCIS website.
  • Fill out the Form (by typing all the required information) and submit it before your interview.
  • Always fill your Form with black ink and capital letters only.
  • If you made any mistake on Form I-693, take a new print and fill it without errors.
  • Read your Form twice before submitting it.

About Doctor:

You have to make an appointment with a USCIS authorized doctor or civil surgeon located in your nearby area; identify their charges for a medical exam, whether they are affordable or not, and their timings of availability.

Lastly, if you are giving an exam based on health insurance, you must confirm from the civil surgeon or health physician whether they will accept your health insurance.

When to File Form I-693?

Save your time by filing Form I-693 (along with the medical exam report and vaccination record) and Form I-485 (application to register permanent residence or adjust status) simultaneously to avoid unnecessary delays. USCIS generally considered the two years validity of Form I-693 from the day when your Civil surgeon signs it. 

Tips before physical exams:

  • Stay relax and take a whole night’s sleep. It will help your nervous system and keep your blood pressure normal.
  • Drink a large quantity of water (being well hydrated) that will help doctor to draw blood and urine samples easily.
  • Avoid unnecessary exercises that can increase your heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Avoid salty and fatty foods.
  • It is highly recommended to fast for twelve hours before the physical exam.
  • Avoid coffee and smoking.
  • It is also recommended to schedule your appointment in the morning, as it helps you follow the previous tips quickly.
  • Always prepare a checklist to complete all the required documents for your physical exam.

Things need to bring in your physical exam:

  • Your vaccination records (if conducted in previous years).
  • Record of your Medical history.
  • Copy of chest X-rays (if conducted previously).
  • A certificate or letter from a doctor about your regular visits regarding certain health issues.
  • A government-issued ID, such as state ID, passport, work or travel permit, or driver’s license.
  • Medical exam fees.
  • Health insurance card, if you have.

The communicable disease which makes you fail in your Physical Exam:

Applicants with a communicable disease of public health significance are inadmissible as immigration to the U.S. If the applicant is suffering from any of the following diseases, he/she may fail in immigration physical exam;

1. Tuberculosis

Initial tuberculosis is a screening test that will be taken to show an immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigens. This test is mandatory for all applicants who are older than two years. If the screening test is found positive, your civil surgeon will not sign off the Form I-693 until any required steps (related to treatment) are completed.

2. Syphilis

Serological tests for syphilis are required for the applicant having 15 years age or older, but if the illness is suspected in the applicant under 15 years of age, the civil surgeon can also conduct a test for them as well. If the applicant get positive test results , he/she has to complete  treatment, and after that, his form will proceed for the immigration process.

3. Gonorrhea

An applicant 15 years or older is required to test for gonorrhea. However, applicants under 15 years will also be tested if the illness is suspected. The civil surgeon must complete details about the medical examination result and sign it. If your test come positive, you have to complete your treatment before re-filling the form for the immigration medical exam.

4. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

The Human Immunodeficiency virus is no longer defined as a communicable disease for public health significance. However, it does not make people inadmissible for immigration in the United States. If the disease is in severe condition, making you inadmissible on public health grounds in the U.S., the officer should administratively close the HIV waiver application. 

Test included in Physical Exam:

Immigration physical exams include the following tests;

1. Physical Checkup

It includes the complete checkup of the patient’s eyes, ears, nose, throat, extremities, heart, lungs, abdomen, lymph nodes, skin, and external genitalia. It aims for;

  • Testing the risk of having HIV
  •  A test for tuberculosis
  •  Mental illness or violence

If you were having any mental illness that caused violence in the past, either with yourself or others, it can cause difficulty to get a green card for the U.S. Any attempt to rape, violation, suicide, or murder also falls in the same category.

2. A urine and blood test

For all green applicants aged 15 and older, doctors need to perform a blood test for syphilis and a urine test for gonorrhea.

3. Alcohol and drugs test

The doctor may ask about use of alcohol and drugs in the past or present. If you were having a habit of using drugs, you might ask for a certificate to prove that you have done your drug treatment program. Currently, if you’re using forbidden illegal drugs and alcohol, it is difficult for you to clear your physical exam.

How long does it valid?

In most cases, the immigration physical exam is valid for two years.

Result of the physical exam:

After completing your physical exam, the civil surgeon will give you a completed and signed Form I-693 in a sealed envelope. Do not accept the opened envelope. You need to bring this envelope on the day of the immigration interview to submit it to USCIS. However, USCIS will return it to you if it is not a sealed envelope or if the envelope has been opened or altered. 


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