Your application for permanent residency (green card via adjustment of your status in the United States or immigrant visa via United States overseas consulate) from the United States or other visas will require a medical examination to determine if you have a health-related issue that would lead to inadmissibility.
This medical examination must be done by doctors accepted by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or the United States consulate. This is required for both children and adult applications however, doctors usually consider age in regard to the necessary vaccines.
You can only use a personal doctor if they are on the list of approved doctors provided by the government. The medical examination has a cost that the United States government doesn’t control.
The purpose of an immigration medical examination
The immigration medical examination is necessary to protect the health of the citizens of the United States. Say you intend to immigrate to Grand Rapids in Michigan, United States. As part of the required documents, your immigration lawyer in Grand Rapids will ensure that you have conducted an immigration medical examination.
This is so that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can ensure that you have met the required health standard. These four medical conditions below can disqualify your application on health grounds:
- Addiction or drug abuse.
- The mental or physical disorders that usually cause harmful behavior.
- Not having any proof of required vaccinations.
- Carrying infectious diseases that are capable of affecting public health.
The medical examination would not be a complete physical examination. It aims to check specific medical conditions important to the United States immigration law.
The United States government doesn’t require you to undergo any examination for conditions not listed in the United States Public Health Services. You are only made to undergo those which are made for immigration purposes.
Also, the doctor would not be required to treat you if the doctor discovers some health-related issues. The medical examination is not a substitute for treatment, diagnosis, consultation, or complete physical examination by a primary health care provider.
What occurs at the immigration medical examination
Before the medical examination starts, a member of the professional staff or the doctor will seek your medical history. The doctor will review the number of times you have been in the hospital and the times you have had to be examined for chronic mental or physical conditions or sickness resulting in a departure from the normal level of functioning or well-being.
The doctor will also ask questions about alcohol and psychoactive drug use. You should also answer questions concerning a history of psychiatric illness or harmful behavior that the doctor did not record in your medical records. The doctor will check your treatment and x-rays records to determine if you have ever had tuberculosis.
Other records that the doctor would review include employment, school, military, or police records which might help him know if you have had a history of harmful behavior related to mental or physical disorders. The records will also show if you have disabilities or illnesses that resulted in a departure from the normal functioning level or state of well-being.
The doctor will also specifically search for symptoms that suggest neuropsychiatric, musculoskeletal, pulmonary, and cardiovascular diseases. The doctor will also check to ensure that you are not infected with diseases that would make you inadmissible.
You will also go through a physical examination which includes looking at your ear, throat, eye, nose, skin, lymph nodes, external genitalia, abdomen, lungs, hearts, and extremities. Additionally, the doctor would perform a mental status examination, assessing your thought, judgment, intelligence, comprehension, behavior, and mood.
The doctor would also perform tests to confirm or diagnose diseases that can make you inadmissible. Parts of such testing usually include chest x-rays and blood draw testing. You can choose to eat when preparing for the blood draw.
If you are sick during your medical examination and the doctor cannot perform the required test, you will be sent to your doctor to get better. You will be required to return on another date for your medical examination. If your case is uncommon, and the doctor cannot say if you can pass the medical examination, you will be referred to a different doctor for further testing.
After your medical examination, your doctor will prepare a form showing his findings and results. This form would be sealed and given to you by the doctor in an envelope to give to the USCIS or the consulate. Ensure you don’t open the envelope. Sometimes, the doctor might send the results directly to the consulate.
When can you schedule your immigration medical examination?
If you are a consular applicant, you will be told by the National Visa Center when it is your turn for an appointment. You must complete your vaccination and medical examination before your scheduled immigrant visa interview date.
If you intend to apply from within the United States, you must schedule it before starting your green card application process. Therefore, you must submit your medical examination results alongside your application package. You must also add supporting documents and government forms.
Also, you can schedule your medical examination after you have filed your green card application. To do this, you either bring your results when coming for your green card interview or send the medical examination results to the USCIS after you have submitted your application for your green card. If you choose this option, your results will be valid for four years from when the doctor signed the form.
The immigration medical examination is a key part of your immigration process to the United States and being a green card holder (permanent resident). It is sometimes called the green card medical examination.
It is a routine process that ensures the safety of the United States public health and removes any reason for inadmissibility on the part of the intended immigrants. There are specific diseases that are of public health importance.
They can result in you not being accepted to the United States. This means that such diseases could prevent you from getting a green card. The immigration exam will remove these inadmissibility grounds.