Health One Family Medicine

Immigration Physical Exam: Everything You Need To Know

Providing your identity document is not the final step in the green card application process. In fact, you must pass an immigration physical if you want to apply for permanent residency in the US. A USCIS-approved civil surgeon takes the examination.

During the physical, you will undergo a thorough body checkup, vaccinations, tests for infectious diseases, and a mental and physical evaluation. The Immigration Physical Exam’s goal is to determine whether a person is eligible for admission on public health and safety grounds.

Ultimately the immigration physical is the second most important part of the immigration process. With that in mind, here is everything you need to know about an immigration physical that will help you pass the exam with flying colors.

Who Needs to Take an Immigration Physical?

Listed below are categories of people who need to undergo an immigration physical:

  • Status Adjusters – a U.S civil surgeon conducts their physical
  • Refugees – a panel physician conducts their exam in the country they want to take refuge in
  • Immigrants – they undergo the same process as refugees

Non-immigrants, those with short-term transit visas, and other categories of residents, including those who entered the country without inspection and those with and without official papers, are exempt from the requirement to undergo a medical examination.

Things That Can Result in You Failing Your Immigration Physical

Testing positive for the medical conditions listed below can lead to you failing your physical exam:

  • Addiction or substance abuse
  • Mental or physical issues that can cause harm to others
  • Failing to show proof of vaccination for vaccine-preventable diseases
  • Contagious or infectious diseases that pose a risk to the population

These categories can be sub-divided into particular diseases that require quarantine, including:

  • Influenza caused by re-emergent or novel influenza
  • Ebola
  • Marburg
  • Lassa
  • Yellow fever
  • Smallpox
  • Plague
  • Measles
  • Infectious Tuberculosis
  • Diphtheria
  • Cholera
  • Covid-19
  • SARS
  • MERS

Vaccines Required to Undergo an Immigration Physical

All candidates, including those requesting adjustment of status for permanent residency, must be immunized against the following diseases, according to their age:

  • Influenza
  • Pneumococcal pneumonia
  • Varicella
  • Rotavirus
  • Meningococcal disease
  • Haemophilus influenzae type B
  • Diphtheria and tetanus toxoids
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Pertussis
  • Rubella
  • Polio
  • Mumps
  • Measles
  • COVID-19

Concerning COVID-19, the USCIS may provide a general waiver if:

  • The vaccine’s limited supply will result in a considerable delay.
  • The civil surgeon does not frequently have access to the vaccine.
  • They are unable to receive a vaccination because of a pre-existing medical condition.
  • The applicant is too young to receive the vaccination.

What to Expect During an Immigration Physical

You can expect the following steps during an immigration physical:

  • Physical examination, which typically includes checking the skin, lungs, heart, lymph nodes, throat, nose, ear, etc.
  • A review of the candidate’s medical background
  • Blood tests, urine tests, and chest X-rays for infectious diseases such as syphilis, gonorrhea, tuberculosis, and others
  • Checking if you have the immunizations that the ACIP (Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices) requires

Wrapping Up

Following the physical, the attending physician will complete Form I-693. The civil surgeon may send the exam results immediately to the American embassy or consulate in select nations. In other cases, the applicant receives the test results from the civil surgeon and any x-rays in a sealed envelope, both of which must be brought to the visa interview. The USCIS will not accept the form if the envelope has been tampered with. Therefore, in the latter scenario, ensure you obtain a second copy of the completed Form I-693 for your records.

Complete Your Immigration Physical Exam At Health One Family Medicine

At Health One Family Medicine, Dr. Parikh is a designated United States Civil Surgeon by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and is authorized to perform immigration exams for all ages. We understand that the immigration process can be long and confusing – Health One Family Medicine provides all necessary medical services to complete your immigration exam in a convenient and timely manner.

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