Published on: March 9, 2023
vide Navigating the complex requirements of U.S. immigration can be overwhelming, but don’t let the mandatory immigration medical exam add to your stress. Get a head start by discovering how you can prepare and what to expect during this crucial aspect of the immigration process.
Are you in the midst of applying for a green card to live in the United States permanently? If so, you will be required to undergo a medical examination known as the immigration exam.
This evaluation is a vital component of the green card application process, as it assesses your overall health and condition to determine your eligibility to reside in the U.S. as a permanent resident. It goes without saying that taking this exam seriously is extremely important, as it can significantly impact your application’s success. While the initial thought of the exam may be intimidating, the immigration medical exam process is straightforward and simple.
In this article, we’ll provide you with all the information you need to be well-prepared, including what to expect, how to prepare, and what the exam will entail. And if you’re located in the Tampa Bay area, then we’ll even help you find an immigration exam center near you. So sit tight, and let’s dive in!
Immigration Exam Explained
When applying for a green card in the U.S., completing an immigration medical exam is a mandatory requirement for all applicants seeking to immigrate to the United States. The exam is conducted by a government-approved doctor and is designed to assess the applicant’s medical history, perform a physical examination, review immunization records, and conduct screening tests for infectious diseases.
It’s important to note that the immigration medical exam does not replace the need for ongoing treatment or diagnosis from a primary healthcare provider. The exam only works towards ensuring that the United States remains protected from the spread of infectious diseases and conditions that are relevant to U.S. immigration law.
For individuals seeking to live and work in the U.S., completing the immigration exam in a timely manner is crucial to avoid any delays in the immigration process. Once the exam is completed and the doctor submits the necessary paperwork, the results will be reviewed by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to determine whether the applicant is admissible to the United States.
If you have any questions or concerns about the immigration exam, then it’s best to consult with an immigration attorney or an authorized immigration medical provider.
How to Prepare for an Immigration Exam?
Preparing for an immigration exam can be a daunting task, as the exam plays a crucial role in determining whether or not you can live and work in the United States. However, with the right information and preparation, the process can be less overwhelming. Discover the key steps involved in preparing for an immigration exam.
One of the first things to keep in mind when preparing for an immigration exam is that you cannot go to your primary healthcare physician. According to Boundless, the exam must be conducted by one of two types of doctors, depending on where you are applying from.
- If you’re applying from within the United States, you must see a civil surgeon designated by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- If you’re applying from outside the United States, you must see a panel physician authorized by the U.S. Department of State.
The cost of the immigration medical exam can vary depending on the location but is generally under $500. Once you find a doctor that meets your needs for the immigration exam, you will need to schedule an appointment. The timing of the appointment will vary depending on whether you are applying from within or outside the United States.
- If you’re applying from within the United States, you can schedule your medical exam either before starting the green card application or after filing your green card. However, if you choose to take the exam after filing your green card, keep in mind that the results are only valid for two years. Therefore, it is important to send them in sooner rather than later.
- For those applying outside the United States, you can only schedule your medical exam once you’ve received your green card interview appointment letter from the National Visa Center (NVC).
When preparing for your immigration exam, make sure to bring all the necessary documents with you. These may include, but are not limited to:
- Immunization or vaccination records
- Medical history
- Copy of previous chest X-rays, if any
- A letter from your primary doctor explaining your treatment plan for any health problems
- A government-issued photo ID, like a passport, state ID, driver’s license, travel permit, or work permit
- Medical exam fee
- Health insurance card, if any
- For those applying from within the United States, you also need to bring Form I-693.
- For those applying outside the United States, bring the green card interview appointment letter from the NVC.
Overall, preparing for an immigration exam requires finding the right doctor, scheduling an appointment, and bringing all the necessary documents to the exam. By following these steps, you can ensure that the process is less stressful and more manageable.
What Do They Test for During an Immigration Exam?
When it comes to immigration exams, the purpose is to ensure that individuals coming into the United States do not pose a threat to public health and safety. While a medical check-up focuses on a person’s physical health, the immigration exam assesses a broader range of areas that can impact the safety of the country. In short, the immigration exam is a thorough screening process that ensures the safety of the country and its citizens. It’s essential to be honest and forthcoming during the exam to avoid any complications with the immigration process.
What to Expect During the Exam
Whether you take the exam in the United States or outside of it, the screening process will remain the same.
- Vaccination Screening: One of the initial steps involves verifying that you have received all the necessary vaccinations required by the United States government. This screening is to prevent the spread of communicable diseases in the country.
- History Review: The doctor will review your medical and personal history to check for any potential health risks. It’s important to disclose all medical conditions and provide accurate information to avoid complications with the immigration process.
- Physical Exam: The physical exam assesses your overall health, including your vision, hearing, and vital signs. This part of the exam is similar to a basic checkup.
- Mental Exam: The mental exam assesses your mental health and determines if you have any conditions that could affect your safety or the safety of others.
- Drug and Alcohol Screening: The doctor may require you to undergo drug and alcohol screening to ensure that you are not a threat to public safety. This drug screening is a crucial step in the screening process, as drug and alcohol addiction can lead to criminal behavior and other safety concerns.
- Blood and Urine Screening: Blood and urine screening tests can detect a wide range of medical conditions that may not be apparent during the physical exam. This laboratory screening can help to identify any underlying health concerns that may impact your ability to live in the United States.
- Tuberculosis Test: A tuberculosis test is mandatory for all applicants, as it is a highly contagious disease that can pose a significant risk to public health. The test is typically done using a skin or blood test. Find the specific instruction for applicants within the United States versus outside the United States.
As of February 2023, non-citizens who are seeking an immigrant visa abroad or who are adjusting their status to that of a lawful permanent resident within the United States are required to have specific vaccinations. Providing proof of vaccination status is crucial, and incomplete vaccinations or refusal to provide proof can lead to the rejection of a green card application.
Although many of the required vaccinations are consistent across the board, some adjustments are made depending on various demographics. For instance, pregnant women, children from birth to 18, adults 19 and older, and travelers may have specific vaccination requirements. To learn more about what is required for your specific demographic, we recommend checking the CDC’s vaccine requirements.
The following vaccinations are generally required for most noncitizens seeking permanent residency:
- Tetanus and Diphtheria Toxoids
- Haemophilus influenzae type B
- Hepatitis B
- Any other vaccine-preventable diseases recommended by the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP).
It’s essential to understand the importance of receiving vaccinations before applying for permanent residency to protect not only yourself, but also the community at large. By staying up-to-date on required vaccinations, you can help ensure a smoother immigration process and protect the health and safety of those around you.
Get Your Immigration Exam at IDATB
At IDATB, we understand the importance of a thorough and reliable immigration medical examination. Our highly qualified civil surgeon will conduct a comprehensive review of your medical history and perform a physical examination to ensure that you are healthy and fit for the immigration process.
Our examination also includes testing for communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, syphilis, and gonorrhea as required by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Throughout the examination, our team will help you understand the results and provide guidance on any necessary follow-up steps.
Additionally, our experienced civil surgeon will review your vaccination history to ensure that you meet the vaccination requirements established by the CDC. Our team will go over the requirements with you and provide any necessary vaccinations to make sure you are up-to-date on your immunizations.
At IDATB, our team of professionals provide a seamless and efficient immigration medical examination process. Our team will work closely with you to ensure that you have all the necessary documentation and information to complete the examination, helping to make the immigration process as smooth as possible. Learn more by visiting: https://idatb.com/immigration-exams/.
- Medical Examinations FAQs (state.gov)
- Vaccination Requirements | USCIS
- ACIP COVID-19 Vaccine Recommendations | CDC
- Vaccines and Immunizations | CDC
- The Complete Guide to the U.S. Immigration Medical Exam (immigrationhelp.org)
- How to Prepare for the Immigration Medical Exam (boundless.com)
- National Visa Center (state.gov)
Infectious Disease Associates of Tampa Bay
Infectious Disease Associates of Tampa Bay (IDATB) provides high-quality healthcare services for patients in the Tampa Bay metro area. If you or someone you know would like to schedule an appointment for an Immigration Medical Exam or Immigration Vaccinations, then IDATB is here to help. With over 30 years of experience, IDATB has been diligently providing Floridians with medical examinations and vaccinations specific to their needs. If you have any questions or concerns about infectious diseases or immigration exams, then please call IDATB at 813-639-8363.