Only a medical doctor certified as a civil surgeon can perform immigration physical exams.
When applying for your green card in the United States, you will need an immigration physical to receive citizenship or a visa for residency.
Immigration physicals, otherwise known as green card physicals, are used to verify that you have the vaccinations needed to prevent the spread of common infectious diseases.
At CNS Occupational Medicine, our experienced team is authorized by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to complete these required medical exams.
Below is everything you need to know about immigration physicals so you can be prepared.
Preparing paperwork needed during your immigration physical
The best way to prepare for your immigration physical is to gather the paperwork and required forms together. This will make the entire physical process go as smooth as possible.
You’ll need to bring:
- Passport or other government-issued photo identification (such as identity card, laissez-passer, or travel document)
- Unsigned copy of Form I-693
- Immunization or vaccination records
- Copy of your medical records
- Proof of medical insurance (if applicable)
- Prior chest X-rays (if applicable)
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) guidelines mention four conditions that can mark you as inadmissible:
- Failure to provide proof of vaccinations
- A communicable disease that poses a threat to public health
- A mental disorder linked to harmful behavior
- Drug abuse and/or addiction
If you’re not sure if you have the appropriate paperwork, don’t hesitate to call CNS Occupational Medicine prior to your physical.
What to expect during the immigration physical
There are three main parts of an immigration physical, the physical exam, required tests, and review of your paperwork.
During the medical exam, Dr. Green will examine your eyes, ears, nose, throat, lymph nodes, skin, extremities, heart, and lungs.
The physical exam also includes:
- Check your height and weight
- Measure your blood pressure
- Lung function evaluation,
- Tuberculosis skin test, and
- Hearing and Vision test
Dr. Green will assess for any physical or mental disorders, including sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhea or syphilis, and substance abuse issues. If you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse or a history of violent behavior, you must disclose these things to your physician.
Immigration physicals may include blood tests to check for syphilis, a urine test to check for gonorrhea, and an x-ray.
Review of your medical history and vaccination record
Your past medical history includes surgical history, past illnesses, any medications you currently take, and any chronic conditions you have.
You will also be required to answer drug and substance abuse screening questions.
For vaccinations, all immigrants must show proof of vaccinations or undergo testing for vaccine-preventable diseases, including:
- Haemophilus influenzae type B
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Meningococcal disease
- Pneumococcal pneumonia
- Tetanus and diphtheria toxoids
If you don’t have proof of vaccination for any of these diseases, Dr. Green may need to order blood tests to confirm your immunization or administer vaccines you haven’t received.
After the immigration physical
Your immigration physical will be valid for up to two years from the date Dr. Green signs Form I-693.
After your exam, you may be asked to sign a few forms. Once the paperwork is completed and signed, your medical records and your Form I-693 will be sealed in an envelope. Don’t break the seal, or the USCIS may not accept it.
You should submit the completed Form I-693 with your application for residency. If you have an interview scheduled with the USCIS, you may also bring it with you at that time.