Commonly Asked Questions About Immigration Medical Exams
If you are applying for your green card in the United States you will need to undergo what is known as an immigration medical exam. Licensed doctors working under guidelines instituted by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide immigration exams.
The point of the exam is to make sure you are in good health and do not have any inadmissible health-related conditions. You will also be assessed for and given any necessary vaccines.
We see many patients for immigration exams, and have noticed that it is often a source of stress. Don’t let an immigration exam get to you, it’s simply a friendly check-up that ensures your health and helps you secure your green card or future citizenship.
In this blog we answer some of the most commonly asked questions about immigration exams.
1. What health-related conditions are considered inadmissible to the Department of State (DOS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)?
The terms for inadmissibility include:
-Communicable diseases that could greatly impact public health.
-Inability to provide documentation of vaccination against diseases that can be prevented by vaccine.
-Physical mental disorder that has been linked to violent or harmful behavior.
-Drug abuse or addiction issues.
Diseases that are considered inadmissible include:
-Hansen’s Disease (Leprosy)
Along with the following two disease types:
- Quarantinable diseases as assigned by a Presidential Executive Order. According to the CDC, current quarantinable diseases include: holera, diphtheria, infectious tuberculosis, plague, smallpox, yellow fever, viral hemorrhagic fevers, severe acute respiratory syndromes, and influenza caused by novel or re-emergent influenza (pandemic flu).
- Any current events reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) causing public health emergency of international concern. Some of the current illnesses that fall into this category include: smallpox, SARS, polio, and influenza.
Having an inadmissible disease does not mean all hope for obtaining your green card is lost. There are certain waivers available, to find out more visit this link from the CDC website: http://www.cdc.gov/immigrantrefugeehealth/exams/medical-waivers.html
2. Who needs to have an immigration medical examination in order to migrate to the United States?
Immigrants, refugees and status adjusters are all required to undergo an immigration medical exam. Non-immigrants and short-term transit are the only exception to the exam. Even if you are traveling to the States on a fiancé-visa you are required to undergo an immigration medical exam.
3. What vaccinations are required if you are applying for immigration to the United States?
All immigrants must be assessed for a number of vaccine-preventable diseases during their medical examination. The current diseases listed include: measles, polio, mumps, tetanus and diphtheria toxoids, Haemophilus influenzae type B, rotavirus, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, pertussis, meningococcal disease, varicella, influenza, and pneumococcal pneumonia.
You must be assessed for all of the above even if you are already residing in the States and applying for permanent residency, or adjustment of status (refugees included).
4. What occurs at the immigration medical exam?
Your immigration exam includes multiple parts, but is overall a worry-free and friendly check up. You will be given a physical examination, skin test/chest x-ray examination for tuberculosis, and a blood test to check for syphilis. Records for previous vaccinations will be checked and you will also be given any required vaccines recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
5. Can one obtain a personal-belief waiver from vaccine requirements?
In order to get a personal-belief waiver based upon religion or personal morals you must check with the USCIS in order to receive the proper application to fill out.
6. What role does the CDC play in regards to immigration exams?
The job of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is to provide Civil Surgeons and Panel Physicians with the technical instructions necessary to provide immigration medical examinations. These tools and instructions are formulated to serve the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) in regards to the health-related reasons associated with inadmissibility for admission into the US.
7. Where Can I Find The I-693 Medical Examination Form?
You can find the I-693 form through the USCIS website, click here: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis
8. How do I get the proper Department of State (DOS) medical examination forms and worksheets necessary for immigrant visa applications?
The following applications for medical examination for immigrant visa are available through the Department of State website and not the CDC: DS-2053, DS-2054, DS-3024, DS-3030, DS-3025, and DS-3026. You may request more information about these forms through the DOS website by clicking here: http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/visa_1750.html
9. Where can I get an immigration exam?
A list of all medical personnel that provide immigration exams on the USCIS website: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis
Urgent Medical Center offers immigration exams everyday of the year, stop by anytime to get yours taken care of.