An immigration medical exam is an important step for immigration process, when you applied for Green card or permanent citizenship at a certain place, in a certain country this exam will be taken by a government-authorized doctors. If you are living there or moving there with your family it required for all of your family members.
First of all, there’s a need to know exactly what an Immigration Medical Exam is?
Basically, it’s a physical exam will be taken by a government-authorized doctors by different physical trails of eyes, ears, nose, throat extremities, heart, lungs, abdomen, lymph nodes, skin and external genitalia. The doctor will also order a chest X-ray and blood test to check for syphilis to ensure that the person is physically fit or not or fulfilling all the requirements of green card.
The main purpose of green card medical exam is to ensure that relative applicant seeking a green card has no health condition that could make him ineligible to receive a green card.
Important stages immigration medical exam
This exam consists of several stages:
- Take a notice of your medical history either you are healthy or not
- Check out your vaccination records
- Rating your physical and mental condition
- Examining drugs and alcohol in your body
- X-ray and blood Tests for various diseases and illnesses
Immigration medical exam cost
The average cost of the medical exam varies between $100 and $500, but $200 is typical but it may vary from place to place.
Before medical exam
Many green card applicants get nervous about these process, but there’s no need to worry about that thing. It’s a simple and easy process for those who are having adequate preparations about it. Adequate preparation also help you avoid any issues that could delay in your green card application.
There isn’t any chance that you got failed in medical exam if you are physically fit enough, so don’t need to worry just take care of your health. If you have active, untreated, and infectious gonorrhea, leprosy, syphilis, or tuberculosis, you will be unable to get a green card until the disease has been treated or cured.
Important steps before exam
- First of all there’s need to take an appointment from a doctor, especially from that one whose having an authority to do these kind of tests, either that person is reliable or not.
- Second, to know about his availability, you must take care of your timings.
- Third, is to know about the fees, whether it’s affordable or not.
- Lastly, he must accept your health insurance.
The things needs to bring for your medical exams are:
If your documents are already completed and there’s not any serious issue regarding your health then your exam must go smoothly. So to prove it you need to bring you health record before exam.
- Your vaccination records.
- A copy of your medical history.
- Copies of any previous chest X-rays, if any.
- A letter from your regular doctor outlining the treatment plan for any health problems you have
- A government-issued photo ID, such as your passport, state ID, driver’s license, travel permit, or work permit.
- Payment for the medical exam fee.
- Your health insurance card, if any.
During the immigration medical exam:
Medical exam is not like your routine physical you received from your doctor, they will not give you your pass and fail grades regarding your physical health.
During the exam the doctor may asked you about your medical history or taking a short review regarding to it, so well prepared your answers before medical test. If doctor observe certain disease in your body like tuberculosis, syphilis, and gonorrhea, it may cause hurdle in getting your green card.
For instance if you are applying for you US visa there are certain two conditions:
Either you are applying from abroad for a green card or within the US, your exam is different in both conditions.
The Immigration Medical exam includes:
- A physical exam looking at eyes, ears, nose, throat extremities, heart, lungs, abdomen, lymph nodes, skin and external genitalia.
- Risk of having HIV
- A tuberculosis test
Civil surgeons in the United States and panel physicians abroad follow different tuberculosis testing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
If you are applying from within the US the civil surgeon will follow the CDC’s Tuberculosis Technical Instructions for Civil Surgeons, which currently require them to conduct a test called the “interferon gamma release assay” (IGRA)on all the persons who are applying for green card, having age two or older.
Normally, there’s no need to return to the doctor’s office to obtain the IGRA results. Because it is directly sent to the embassy. If IGRA results reveal symptoms of tuberculosis, you’ll be required to return to the clinic in order to get a chest X-ray and undergo other further testing.
If you are applying from abroad, the panel physician will undergo the CDC’s Tuberculosis Technical Instructions for Panel Physicians, which nowadays is important for green card applicants aged 15 and older to have a chest X-ray.
If necessary, you may need to return to the clinic for further testing if the chest X-ray and other relevant screening (medical history review and physical checkup) show signs and symptoms of tuberculosis.
It’s important to also check the specific medical exam instructions from your U.S. embassy or consulate that may be related to tuberculosis testing.
Mental illness or violence
If you were having any kind of mental illness that caused violence in the past either with yourself or others also causes trouble in getting a green card. According to USCIS policy, drunk driving falls into this category.
A urine and blood test
For applicants aged 15 and older, doctors need to do a blood test for syphilis and a urine test for gonorrhea on all green card applicants — whether applying from within the United States or abroad.
Health related reason in rejection for green card:
1. Inability to work
If you are unable to work, your health and financial condition is so poor you are unable to support yourself so there’s a greater chance that you must be rejected for a green card.
2. Checking your vaccination records
It is required to make sure for the doctor that you’ve received all required vaccines. If you’re missing any, you’ll need to take these before you attend your green card interview, though the doctor should be able to provide these vaccines during your medical exam.
3. The doctor may ask about your past, present usage of alcohol and drugs
The doctor will ask questions about any prescription drugs you take, as well as your usage of alcohol in your past and present. If you were having a habit of using drugs, you might be asked to take a drug test and/or certify that you have completed a drug treatment program. If you’re currently abusing prescription drugs, illegal drugs, or alcohol, you will not be allowed to get a green card.
So, using a large amount of drugs and alcohol will cause a serious issue in your green card medical exam.
To know more about specific testing procedures for green card applicants, check out the CDC’s guidance for civil surgeons (if you’re applying from within the United States) or its guidance for panel physicians (if you’re applying from abroad).
Preventing health related refusal:
An applicant seeking a green card generally would not be refused on medical grounds if they:
- Are HIV-positive.
- Had a cough, cold and flu at the time of the medical exam.
- Have a chronic but well-managed disease, such as diabetes or heart disease.
- Previously had one of the communicable diseases listed above (and have since been cured).
If you’ve tested positive for gonorrhea, syphilis, leprosy, or tuberculosis in the past: It’s mainly important to show USCIS or the State Department that you have been successfully treated. usually, the best way is to bring the copies of your medical records.
So that it is cleared that you free from every disease and eligible for applying green card. Same in the case with the drug/alcohol abuse and mental illness it is important for having an approve that your mental health is now in control and your drug addiction has been treated.
If you are having any other serious disease that suffers your working potential, its good for you to bring a letter from your doctor that explains how the disease is controlled and how it effects on your lives, including how your illness affects your ability to work.
If your green card application is rejected for some of your health-related reasons: You can apply for a “waiver of inadmissibility” (basically, “forgiveness” from the U.S. government in order to enter the United States).
After your immigration medical exam:
After your exam, when you get the result in the form of an envelope there’s no need to break or open the seal of that envelope. It can be opened by the embassy. If it does not automatically give you a copy, it’s generally a good idea to ask for a copy before they seal the envelope.
If you are applying from within the United States, You must send the sealed envelope (which also contains your completed Form I-693) to USCIS or take it to your interview, depending, again, on whether you schedule your medical exam before or after filing your green card application package .
If you are applying from abroad, the doctor will either give you the sealed envelope (and your X-ray) to bring to your interview, or they may send it directly to your U.S. embassy or consulate, depending on your home country’s specific requirements for the medical exam.
Another thing is that do not forget to sign the form, USCIS will not accept unsigned forms. The civil surgeon will ask you to sign the form when the exam will complete.