Various citizens have taken various measures to become legal permanent residents (green cardholders). You may register for status change from within the United States or apply at the embassy or consulate for an Immigrant Visa. There are other ways in which you can also immigrate. You must take a medical immigration exam irrespective of your course. Learn what you need to know here about the examination.
The method of becoming a permanent citizen of the United States is often a long one. It will start in the US and start abroad as well. The medical examination of immigration is a major step you must take before you migrate. At this point, several candidates for Green Card become anxious, but you don’t need to worry. Here is what this aspect of the immigration process needs to be known for.
What is immigration medical exam?
A legal permanent resident in the US can obtain the status on the basis of:
- Family Relations
- Humanitarian Jobs or reasons
- DV (Diversity Lottery)
- Skilled sponsored jobs
- Personal Investment
You have to take the medical test irrespective of whether you are looking for green card status.
The examination consists of a government-designated doctor:
- A mental and physical assessment
- Testing of drugs and alcohol
- A medical and immunization history review
- Testing of different disorders and diseases
You need a medical test to make sure you don’t have any health reasons which find you inadmissible in the US. This guide helps you prepare for all phases of the medical examination process. Read the directions in this guide and follow them. It is also recommended that your application be reviewed and endorsed by an independent lawyer.
The process of Immigration medical exam
You will either be in the consular processing flow or you are submitting an adjustment of status, depending on where you submit your application.
If you are in USA:
You must make an appointment for your medical examination with a USCIS appointed civil surgeon. Technical guidelines for these examinations have been provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These orders are used by civil doctors or doctors to test applicants for migration. I-693-form is filled and sealed with results. A copy from the civil doctor will also be sent to the applicant.
The doctor may refer to another doctor or health department for diagnosis or classification if necessary in accordance with the guidelines of the CDC. If the USCIS considers the I-693 to be inadequate, the USCIS will forward a letter to the applicant. The applicant is asked to provide additional proof in this letter. It could also ask the doctor to correct the findings of the medical test.
If your application is sent to USCIS, it will decide on your status application change. The application is likely to deserve approval if there are no reasons for inadmissibility.
Adjustment of Status and Medical Exam:
The path you can use if you are currently living in the United States is known as adjustment of status. You must apply for permanent residence or status adjustment (Form I-485) via this path. This should be sent to your jurisdiction’s USCIS office. In this scenario, a civil doctor designated by USCIS may perform a medical test. This is reported in the medical exam and vaccination register report (Form I-693).
If you are outside USA:
The path you would follow if you are not in the United States is consular processing. In this situation, you can apply for an immigrant visa at a US embassy or consulate abroad with the U.S. Department of State (DOS). A medical review will be performed by the DOS-designated panel doctor. The results of the test will be part of the Immigrant or Refugee Applicant Medical Examination process.
How to find a civil surgeon or a panel doctor
Please go to USCIS to search for a Doctor for applicants submitted Form I-693 and apply for Adjustment of status (I-485). This will assist you in finding a USCIS civil physician.
Please check the website of the Department of State for applicants applying abroad to find a local panel officer for your region of residence.
Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record (Form I-693)
Before your medical examination you can complete Part 1 “Information about you” of Form 1-693. Remember: DON’T sign it before you have been told to sign it by the civil doctor. In the presence of the doctor, you must sign it.
From here on, you simply attend the appointment for your medical test and any further tests the doctor may need. Take them with you if you have past medical history, like vaccines records or any other test records.
Form I-693 comes with an envelope that is sealed. If the envelope is opened or changed, USCIS returns the form to you, so do not take Form I-693 unless the envelope is checked. A copy of completed Form I-693 should also be given by the doctor. So your completed Form I-693 must be sent to USCIS in the sealed envelope. For Registration Request follow the instruction provided in Form I-485 for Permanent Residence or Adjustment of Status.
All other consular applicants must obey the instructions given by the office requesting medical examination.
Preparation of your medical examination
In order to minimize the likelihood of delays in applying, you should have as many appropriate documents as possible. There are some of the relevant documents to be brought to your medical examination:
- A complete copy of your medical history
- Records of diagnosis and vaccination
- Every earlier exemplary X-rays
- It is advisable to provide your regular doctor with a letter detailing a treatment plan if you have a health problem
- Photo ID provided by government to check your identity
- Funds payable for your medical examination are not governed by USCIS. Hence fees can differ from one USCIS jurisdiction to the next.
- Health insurance card if you have any
Further examination and evaluation may be required by the USCIS designated Civil Doctor. This can occur during your medical test. This occurs when you believe you need further assessment or care. The doctor will decide the type of screening you want. You will also know which more tests or treatments should be performed.
Until the applicant has fulfilled all health monitoring criteria, I-693 cannot be signed or dated by the physician. Additional assessments and examinations must also be carried out.
Inadmissibility and medical conditions
The USCIS, the Health Department, and the CDC provide civil surgeons and panel doctors with up-to-date information on the substance of medical inadmissibility.
Class A medical conditions which make an applicant inadmissible for reasons of health include:
- Significant public health transmissible diseases
- For applications for permanent residents the lack of evidence of required vaccinations
- Physical or mental illnesses that may lead to harmful conduct
- Abuse of substances and physical or emotional illness due to drug abuse
Class B disorders include physical or psychological conditions, illnesses, or disabilities. They should be severe in nature or permanent to qualify as conditions of Class-B. A patient is not inadmissible under this definition of medical conditions. The medical condition could, however, be appropriate for other inadmissibility reasons.
In Immigration Medical Exam, what kind of tests are taken?
The immigration medical examination is made up of a physical exam, medical examination, chest X-ray, and blood syphilis examinations. At minimum, an inspection of the ears, eyes, nose and throat, heart, limbs, pulses, lymph nodes, abdomen and skin should be expected in the physical examination.
The immigration medical examination is not a full physical examination. It cannot substitute your entire physical examination, diagnosis, consultation or therapy plan, which your primary care provider may need. Their sole objective is to screen the completion of your immigration application for certain medical conditions. The doctor does not have to check you for other conditions other than those for immigration purposes defined by the U.S. Public Health Services.
Do kids also need these tests?
No, kids under the age of 15 are usually not subject to X-rays and blood tests during immigration medical examinations.
Submit the complete I-693 form
Form I-693 must meet the criteria of USCIS
- The form should be readable.
- All sections of the form shall be complete, except those which the civil doctor does not require to be filled
- The medical examination physician is required to sign and date the application.
- The applicant reviewed must sign and date the application form.
- If more diagnoses or tests are required, the applicant must be signed and evaluated by the doctors who complete the reference assessments.
- For filing, the form must remain valid.
- As detailed in the form instructions, the form must be in a closed envelope.
Validity Period of I-693 Form
The USCIS reduces Form I-693 validity to 60 days after the signature, which was previously a validity period of 1 year. This means the applicant has to make sure that the medical test is completed prior to his or her submission date for Form I-485 Permanent residence application or status adjustment. Once USCIS receives I-693, it will be valid for a period of 2 years after you have undergone a medical examination.
The USCIS does not regulate the medical fee. It depends on the medical examiner’s doctor or institution. Rates can differ by doctor. You must review the latest rates with your local authority or the licensed medical facility. But the cost varies between $100 and $500.
Requirements for vaccinations
Vaccination is a vital part of the medical test to be carried out by an applicant who must file for an I-485 or request an immigrant visa from a foreign embassy. A few vaccination-related scenario-specific factors can occur. One example is age and another example is allergic vaccine reactions. When USCIS establishes or examines vaccine needs and desires, they take problems of this kind into account.
The immigration legislation of the United States requires vaccines to avoid illnesses in the list below. This extends to foreign nationals applying for an immigrant visa. This shall also apply to foreign nationals requesting status adjustment while in the USA:
- Tetanus and Diphtheria Toxoids
- Homophiles influenza type B
- Hepatitis B
- Any other vaccine-preventable diseases recommended by the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices
For civil physicians, the CDC publishes technical guidelines. These guidelines describe how different requirements and situations should be dealt with individually. This is valid for all applicants for medical examinations. Any other important point shall be noted by the doctor and vaccine objections shall be recorded. These findings and facts are stated in the medical report of the doctor.
Adjustment for K or V Category Visa
If you come to the USA and have completed medical exams before your arrival, the medical examination usually is not needed if the following applies:
- Form I-485 is filed with the patient within 1 year of an international medical examination;
- A Class-A medical condition was not found by the panel doctor during the foreign exam;
- The panel doctor found a Class-A medical condition, and a waiver of inadmissibility was given to the applicant and the conditions of the waiver had been complied with.
Even if no new medical exam is needed, proof of compliance with vaccination requirements is required. If this is not provided, a vaccination evaluation section of Form I-693 will be completed by the doctor.