If you are applying for U.S. permanent residence (“green card”), you’ll need to submit to a medical exam. This FAQ is intended to guide you through this process.
Why do I have to undergo a medical exam?
The purpose of the examination is to confirm that you are not inadmissible to the U.S. on public health grounds. The medical examination must be performed by a civil surgeon who has been designated by the immigration authorities to perform such an examination.
How do I find an authorized physician?
If you are applying for your green card through a U.S. consulate or embassy, the consulate or NVC will supply you with a list of authorized physicians before your visa interview.
If you are applying for adjustment of status in the U.S., you can access the list of authorized physicians from USCIS here. These physicians charge for this examination. We recommend that you call a few from the list to find out how much they charge, what form of payment they accept and their availability to perform your examination.
What should I bring to the medical examination?
You should bring the following:
- Federally-approved photo ID, such as a passport or driver’s license
- Alien Registration Number, if pertinent
- Vaccination/ Immunization Records
- Medical records for chronic or serious medical problems. Be ready to explain your condition(s) and present a list of the medications that you are taking.
- Required payments (check with your authorized physician’s office about cost)
Please see full list of required documents here.
Medical records which are not in English must be translated prior to the appointment.
If you are not fluent in English, you may wish to bring an interpreter to the appointment.
What will the doctor examine?
The doctor will talk with you, review your medical and vaccination history, and give you a physical exam, a chest x-ray and a blood test. Children under the age of 15 will normally not be given the x-ray or blood tests. If you are pregnant, you can ask that the x-ray be postponed.
The doctor will also give you any vaccinations that you are missing, based on a list of required vaccinations. Please see a list of required vaccinations here.
What types of illnesses or conditions can make you inadmissible?
While you will not be found inadmissible for having a common cold or flu, there are certain medical conditions that can make you inadmissible because they are considered to be a public health threat (such as active tuberculosis).
Alcohol abuse and related disorders are treated as a physical or mental disorder that can render you inadmissible if the disorder is associated with current or past harmful behavior. A record of alcohol-related offenses such as an accident when driving while intoxicated (“DWI”) or driving under the influence (“DUI”), or domestic violence involving alcohol could lead to a referral for a mental examination and a subsequent finding of inadmissibility. Additionally, the DOS has authorized a new visa revocation provision requiring U.S. consular posts to revoke nonimmigrant visas for DUI arrests.
A history of drug abuse or addiction could also make you inadmissible on health-related grounds.
See the list of medical conditions that can make you inadmissible here.
How do I file the results of my exam?
If you are applying through a U.S. consulate or embassy, the panel physician will either give you a sealed envelope with the exam results to hand-carry to the visa interview or will send the results directly to the U.S. embassy or consulate.
If you are applying through adjustment of status in the U.S., the physician will give you a sealed envelope with your results to file with your application.
You cannot open these envelopes. The envelope will not be accepted unless it remains sealed.
The results of your examination remain valid for up to one (1) year before you file your application for a green card.
Navigating the U.S. immigration process can be a daunting challenge and can have serious ramifications if done incorrectly. However, you don’t have to go at it alone. We are here to assist you. To learn more about your specific situation and how we can assist you, please contact us at ImmigrationTeam@marksgray.com.