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Immigration Medical Exam

The green card medical examination is an important step of the immigration process and is required for all family members seeking a family-based green card. 
The purpose of the green card medical exam is to ensure that the relative seeking a green card has no health condition that could make them “inadmissible” to the United States — meaning they’re ineligible to receive a green card.
Many green card applicants get nervous about this step of the process. But there’s no need to worry! Tampa Bay Family Clinic can walk you through the medical exam and help you complete your green card application.


Medical Exam

The exam, to be completed by a government-authorized doctor, consists of several parts:

•  A review of your medical history and immunization records
•  A physical and mental evaluation
•  Drug and alcohol screening
•  Tests for various diseases and illnesses

Who 's the doctor?

There are only two types of doctors who can perform the medical exam, and the right one for your situation depends on where you’re applying from:

•  If you’re applying from within the United States, you will see a civil surgeon designated by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

•  If you’re applying from abroad, you will see a panel physician authorized by the U.S. Department of State.
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What should I bring to my exam?

Having all of your documents ready before your appointment can help the medical exam go smoothly. Here’s what you’ll need to bring with you:

•  Your immunization or 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 (check with the doctor’s office before your appointment for acceptable payment options)
• Your health insurance card, if any (check with the doctor’s office before your appointment if they accept your insurance)

What should I bring to My Immigration Medical Exam?

The green card medical exam is not like a routine physical you’d receive from your family doctor. Nor will the doctor give you a “pass” or “fail” grade based on your overall health.

During the medical exam, the doctor will review your immunization and medical history with you. They will ask both general and specific questions about your health. You’ll also get a basic checkup (or “physical”).

In addition, the doctor will look for specific conditions that fall into the following categories 

  • Communicable diseases (including tuberculosis, syphilis, and gonorrhea)
  • Drug abuse or addiction
  • Physical or mental disorders associated with harmful behavior
  • Conditions that make it impossible for you to support yourself

To check for the above conditions, the doctor will conduct several types of tests:

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’re Applying From Within The United States

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 green card applicants aged 2 and older. Generally, you will not be required to return to the doctor’s office to obtain the IGRA results.

If, however, the IGRA results reveal signs or 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’re Applying From Abroad

The panel physician will follow the CDC’s Tuberculosis Technical Instructions for Panel Physicians, which currently require all green card applicants aged 15 and older (in countries considered to be “heavily tuberculosis-burdened”) to have a chest X-ray.

If necessary, you may be required 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 relevant to tuberculosis testing.
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Blood And Urine Tests

Our doctors are required to perform a blood test for syphilis and a urine test for gonorrhea on all green card applicants aged 15 and older — whether applying from within the United States or abroad.

Vaccination Screening

The doctor is required to make sure that you’ve received all required vaccines. If you’re missing any, you’ll be required to obtain these before you attend your green card interview, but the doctor should be able to provide these vaccines during your medical exam.

IMPORTANT: USCIS now requires green card applicants to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 when attending the medical exam. Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine requirements when immigrating.

Drug And Alcohol Screening

The doctor will ask questions about any prescription drugs you take, as well as your past and present drug and alcohol use.

Tampa Bay Family Clinic helps you prepare for every milestone of the Immigration Medical Exam. Find out more about what you get with Tampa Bay Family Clinic and let’s begin!

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