• What to expect in a Green Card Medical Exam?
  • The US Immigration Medical Exam is mandatory as demanded by the USCIS, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services as a part of the US immigration process for obtaining a green card or for refugee asylum states or for certain non immigrant visas.

    The medical examination is done to ascertain whether the individual is inadmissible to the United States on the grounds of public health and safety or not.

    It is conducted by a USCIS approved civil surgeon in the US in the United States. For those applying outside the US, the exam is conducted by a physician on the panel of USCIS called Panel Physician.

    The green card aspirant needs to fill the i693 form part of which he needs to fill out himself and the remaining part needs to be filled in the by the civil surgeon during the medical examination.

    The cost of the medical examination is not covered by medical insurance. It needs to be borne by the aspirant himself. However, it is advisable to check on it with the insurance provider and the civil surgeon prior to going for the medical exam.

    What to expect in a Green Card Medical ExamThere are 4 stages of the green card medical exam

    Stage 1

    The first stage includes a check for Tuberculosis. A tuberculin skin test or IGRA test followed by a chest x ray will be done if the applicant tests positive for exposure to tuberculosis in the past.

    Stage 2

    The next step includes getting tested for Syphilis. Once the test is completed, you will be screened for Gonorrhea and other communicable diseases.

    In the second stage, the civil surgeon will check you for any physical or mental disorders that may lead to harmful behavior. This includes checking the aspirant for alcohol abuse and carefully examining the aspirant’s medical history to check for a history of physical disorders that lead to harmful behavior or currently persisting disorders that may lead to harmful behavior in the future.

    Stage 3

    Stage 3 is where presence of drug abuse or drug addiction is checked. This includes any therapy, rehabilitation or referrals that may have been given to the aspirant in the past.

    Stage 4

    Finally in the fourth stage, the aspirant is administered a series of vaccines as specified by the CDC, Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. The vaccines administered are age appropriate. If you have taken any of these vaccines in the past, you need to obtain a certification from your health care provider to present to the civil surgeon during the examination confirming the same. Flu vaccine is given only during the flu season which lasts from October to March.

    Following vaccines are administered:

    • Hepatitis A
    • Hepatitis B
    • Influenza
    • Influenza type b (Hib)
    • Measles
    • Meningococcal
    • Mumps
    • Penumococcal
    • Pertussis
    • Polio
    • Rotavirus
    • Rubella
    • Tetanus and diphtheria toxoids
    • Varicella

    The civil surgeon charges separately for vaccination. Each civil surgeon charges differently for the medical examination since the CDC does not have any regulations over the charges. The charges vary depending on the geographical location. The immigration medical exam can cost you anywhere between $200 and $700 depending on where you live.

    The tests usually take up 4 to 5 hours easily so it is advisable to take a day off for the medical examination. Some procedures especially the vaccination may need a follow up. You can either take the follow up dose from your civil surgeon or from your usual health care provider.

    Once the tests are done, the civil surgeon will fill the i693 form, draft the results and hand them over to you in a sealed envelope. Before the results and the form are sealed, make sure that your name and other details are spelled correctly otherwise the USCIS will instantly reject the results. Make sure the seal is intact and is not tampered with or else it will not be accepted. Deliver the results within a week’s time.

    Once you have delivered the results, the USCIS will take time to go through the findings since they have a huge backlog of such results to clear. So, patiently wait for their call.

    All the best clearing your Immigration Medical Exam!