When applying for a Green Card, applicants are required to undergo a medical exam, conducted by authorized doctors (civil surgeons), who complete form I-693. This immigration medical examination serves the purpose of evaluating the applicant’s medical eligibility for permanent residency in the United States. It involves a thorough assessment of the applicant’s health, including screening for certain diseases, and pre-existing conditions, and verification of vaccinations. The primary objective of this examination is to ensure the overall well-being and health of the applicant, aligning with the standards set forth by the USCIS.
A number of elements can be expected during the immigration medical examination. These include:
- A thorough assessment of your medical history and immunization records to determine your medical examination and vaccination record;
- To assess your entire well-being, a complete physical and mental examination will be performed;
- The examination may include drug and alcohol testing;
- Tests to detect various diseases and illnesses, which may include procedures such as X-rays in some situations.
These examinations are critical in assessing your eligibility for immigration benefits and protecting the applicant’s and the community’s safety and health.
What is the Cost of a Green Card Medical Exam?
The cost of an immigration medical check might vary greatly based on the region and healthcare provider. While sources say that the cost frequently ranges from $100 to $500, it is most commonly around $200. It is vital to know that no government money is available to support the costs of the immigration medical exam. As a result, applicants are responsible for covering the entire cost of the examination.
It is critical to realize that the cost of the USCIS Medical Exam does not include any extra tests or treatments that may be required if a medical problem requires additional examination or attention.
What Diseases Disqualify You From Applying for Green Card 2023?
If applicants have certain contagious diseases that can be a risk to public health, they are not allowed to enter the United States. The Department of Health and Human Services has identified specific diseases that fall into this category.
These medical conditions include:
- Communicable diseases of public health significance, such as Gonorrhea, Hansen’s Disease (Leprosy) when it is infectious, Syphilis during its infectious stage, and Active Tuberculosis (TB). It’s important to note that only a diagnosis of Class A TB makes an applicant ineligible to enter the United States;
- Lack of required vaccines;
- History of drug abuse;
- A Physical or mental disorder resulting in harmful behavior.
The good news is that in specific situations, individuals may have the opportunity to submit a waiver of medical inadmissibility, which is a discretionary process.
The eligibility for such a waiver depends on the reasons presented, whereby the applicant may need to demonstrate undergoing treatment for a medical condition or assert moral or religious grounds for not vaccinating in the case of vaccinations.
What are the Vaccinations Required for Green Card Medical Check Up?
The doctor must check that you have obtained all of the required vaccinations. If you haven’t gotten any of them, you will be required to obtain them prior to your Green Card interview. However, if necessary, the doctor can generally provide these vaccinations during your medical evaluation.
These vaccinations include COVID-19, Hepatitis A and B, Influenza, Influenza type b (Hib), Measles, Meningococcal, Mumps, Pneumococcal, Pertussis, Polio, Rotavirus, Rubella, Tetanus and diphtheria toxoids, and Varicella. It is necessary to get these vaccines in order to meet the requirements for immigration purposes.
How to Prepare for a Green Card Medical Examination?
Obtaining a medical examination for your Green Card application is a straightforward process that involves a few essential steps.
1. Schedule the Exam
To ensure a smooth Green Card application process, it is recommended that you schedule your medical examination before initiating the application. This allows you to include the medical exam results with your application package, which includes all required government forms and supporting papers. This approach is commonly referred to as “concurrent filing”.
It is important to note that the medical results form remains valid for a period of two years. Effective from March 31, 2023, applicants now have the flexibility to submit their medical exam form within two years from the date it was signed by the civil surgeon. In the past, the medical results had to be received by USCIS within 60 days of the physician’s signature.
You can use the USCIS “find a doctor” option on their website to identify a nearby civil surgeon authorized to conduct immigration medical exams. You can also get help from the USCIS Contact Center at 1-800-375-5283 (TTY: 1-800-767-1833). Inform the doctor’s office that you are calling them to schedule a medical examination for immigration purposes.
If You’re Outside the United States
If you are applying for a Green Card from outside the United States, it is important to note that you should only schedule your medical examination after receiving the Green Card interview appointment letter from the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC, which handles Green Card applications for relatives residing abroad, explicitly advises individuals not to arrange their medical exam until they have been notified of the interview date.
To schedule your medical examination:
- Well in advance of receiving your appointment letter, visit the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate responsible for your area. There, you will find detailed instructions regarding the medical exam, as well as contact information for authorized doctors in your country;
- It is your responsibility to choose a doctor for the examination; the NVC will not assign one to you. It is normally recommended that you plan your appointment as soon as you receive the NVC’s interview appointment date.
Please follow these guidelines to ensure a smooth process and adhere to the instructions provided by the NVC and the U.S. embassy or consulate in your region.
2. Have Your Documents Ready for the Interview
When attending your medical examination, it is essential to bring the following documents and items:
- Immunization or vaccination records – carry any records you have that indicate your past immunizations or vaccinations;
- Copy of your medical history – bring a copy of your medical history, which includes information about any previous illnesses, surgeries, or ongoing health conditions;
- Previous chest X-rays (if applicable) – if you have had any chest X-rays in the past, make sure to carry copies of those results with you;
- Letter from your regular doctor – obtain a letter from your regular doctor outlining the treatment plan for any existing health problems you may have;
- Government-issued photo ID – bring a valid government-issued photo identification document, such as your passport, state ID card, driver’s license, travel permit, or work permit;
- Payment for the medical exam fee – check with the doctor’s office in advance to determine the acceptable payment options for the medical exam fee;
- Health insurance card (if applicable) – if you have health insurance, carry your health insurance card. Confirm with the doctor’s office beforehand to ensure they accept your insurance.
Remember to gather and bring these items to your medical examination appointment to ensure a smooth process and provide the necessary documentation as requested by the doctor’s office.
In addition to the mentioned requirements, it is important to note that you may be required to bring an additional document depending on where you are applying from.
- If you are applying for a Green Card from within the United States, it is essential to bring Form I-693, also known as the “Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record.” This form will be completed by the civil surgeon who conducts your medical examination, documenting the results of the exam.
- If you are applying for a Green Card from abroad, you must bring your Green Card interview appointment letter from the National Visa Center (NVC). The medical exam will not be conducted unless you present this document to the doctor. The appointment letter serves as proof of your active Green Card application, and the doctor will use it to verify the status of your application.
Does Having a Health-Related Condition Automatically Lead to the Denial of a Green Card?
In general, a person seeking a Green Card would typically not be denied on medical grounds if they meet the following conditions:
- Having a cold at the time of the medical exam – having a common cold during the medical examination is not typically a reason for denial;
- Having a chronic but well-managed disease – individuals with chronic diseases such as diabetes or heart disease, as long as they are well-managed, typically would not be denied on medical grounds;
- Being HIV-positive – being HIV-positive alone would not generally result in denial of a Green Card, as HIV status is not considered a basis for medical inadmissibility;
- Previously having a curable communicable disease – if an individual had a communicable disease listed as grounds for inadmissibility but has since been cured, it would typically not be a reason for denial on medical grounds.
It’s important to note that individual circumstances may vary, and it is recommended to consult with an immigration attorney or refer to official guidelines for specific information and requirements related to medical grounds for Green Card applications.
However, if a person seeking a Green Card has a health-related condition that could potentially lead to the denial of their application, it is generally advisable to take the following steps:
- If you have tested positive for diseases such as gonorrhea, syphilis, leprosy, or tuberculosis in the past, it is crucial to provide evidence to USCIS or the State Department that you have received successful treatment. This can be done by presenting copies of your medical records;
- If you have a history of drug abuse or mental illness, it is important to bring supporting documentation to the medical examination that demonstrates your successful treatment for drug addiction or the controlled state of your mental health;
- In cases involving other potentially serious diseases, it is recommended to obtain a letter from your regular doctor outlining how your disease is controlled and the impact it has on your daily life, including any effect on your ability to work, if applicable;
If your Green Card application is denied due to health-related reasons, it is possible to apply for a “waiver of inadmissibility.” This involves seeking forgiveness from the U.S. government, allowing you to enter the United States despite the initial denial.
The process of undergoing a medical examination for a Green Card application requires considerable time and preparation. Despite its seemingly routine nature, the medical examination holds substantial importance and can significantly impact an applicant’s chances of obtaining a Green Card. Consequently, it is crucial to approach the medical examination with utmost seriousness and diligence.
To ensure a smooth and successful medical examination, applicants should prioritize getting their documents in order and familiarize themselves with the examination process beforehand. Proper research and preparation are key before attending the doctor’s appointment. For additional guidance and detailed information, applicants are encouraged to seek advice from their immigration lawyer or consult with their personal physician.
It is important to stay informed about the public charge rule, as immigration laws and policies are subject to frequent updates, ensuring compliance with the latest guidelines to navigate the adjustment of status or lawful permanent residency process successfully.
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How long is a medical exam valid for immigration USA?The USCIS typically recognizes a completed Form I-693 as valid for a period of two years from the date when the civil surgeon signed the form.
How long does it take to get a Green Card after a medical exam?The scheduling of a Form I-693 medical exam typically takes around two weeks, and after that, it usually takes an additional two weeks to receive the completed and sealed Form I-693. Once properly signed and submitted, Form I-693 remains valid for a duration of two years. In regards to the overall processing time for a full Green Card application, it currently ranges from six months to four years.
What medical conditions are inadmissible to the USA?The Department of Health and Human Services has designated certain diseases that fall under this classification, which include Gonorrhea, Hansen’s Disease (Leprosy) during its infectious state, Syphilis during its infectious stage, Active Tuberculosis (TB), and other conditions resulting in harmful behavior due to physical/ mental disorders or drug abuse. It is crucial to emphasize that only a diagnosis of Class A TB renders an applicant ineligible for entry into the United States.