Applying for green cards or visas for you and your children? By now, you probably know you will need to get an Immigration Medical Exam.
This exam determines if the US government will deem you admissible into the US. You may not know the ins-and-outs of the exam process, but we’re here to help!
FAQ’s About the Immigration Medical Exam
Can any doctor do the screening?
No. The doctor must be approved by the U.S. consulate or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If your own doctor is not on this list, you will need to find another doctor.
If you are already a patient at Buford Family Practice, you are in luck! Our very own Dr. Alexander Osowa has been appointed as an authorized Civil Surgeon for the Department of Homeland Security by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).
This means he is authorized to perform green card/immigration medical examinations (I-693 Form) if you aren’t already a member of our practice that’s no problem! We are accepting new patients!
What happens during the exam?
This exam differs from a regular physical exam or check-up in that it is more of a screening to see if it is safe to allow you into the United States.
You don’t have to be in perfect health, but you must not have the following that would make you inadmissible to the U.S. (ineligible for a visa or green card).:
- Any serious or communicable diseases
- Mental disorders
- Drug problems
The doctor’s office will check your passport or other identity documents, to make sure you are you and haven’t sent a healthier person in your place.
The doctor will confirm you have had all the required vaccinations. Some are only needed depending on the age of the person.
The doctor will administer any vaccines that you are missing (or at least the first dose) during this exam. Required vaccinations are listed here:
- Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib)
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Meningococcal disease
- Pneumococcal disease
The doctor or staff will ask you questions about:
- Your medical history
- Any hospital visits
- Any times you were checked into an institution for a chronic physical or mental condition
- Instances in which you’ve ever been sick or disabled so seriously that it resulted in a “substantial departure from a normal state of well-being or level of functioning.”
- Psychoactive drug and alcohol use
- Any history of harmful behavior
- Symptoms of cardiovascular, pulmonary, musculoskeletal, and neuropsychiatric disorders, or symptoms that you have any of the diseases that would make you inadmissible
- A history of psychiatric illness that is not documented in the medical records
The doctor will review:
- Chest X-rays and treatment records
- Any police, military, school, or employment records that may help to determine a history of harmful behavior related to a physical or mental disorder
The doctor will then give you a physical examination. They will look at your:
- Nose and throat
- Heart and lungs
- Abdomen and lymph nodes
- Skin and external genitalia
The doctor will perform a mental status examination to assess your:
The doctor will do tests to diagnose diseases that could make you inadmissible. Expect them to draw blood and do chest X-rays.
If the doctor is unable to perform all of the tests because you are too sick, you will be referred to your doctor for treatment and asked to come back for the immigration medical exam later.
If for some reason, the doctor can’t say for sure whether you can pass the medical exam, the doctor can refer you to another doctor to perform further testing.
When the examination is complete, the doctor will note their results and findings on a form provided by USCIS. The doctor will place the form in a sealed envelope which you will then give the consulate or USCIS. Don’t open the envelope.
There are special cases, such as when you are applying for a visa overseas, that the doctor will send the results directly to the consulate.
What illnesses/causes will cause me to “fail” the exam?
See Inadmissibility: When the U.S. Can Keep You Out for a full list.
Note that illnesses that affect you but are not harmful to others like heart disease, cancer, or certain mental illnesses will not make you inadmissible to the US.
However, it’s possible you could be found inadmissible if it looks like you will require need-based government assistance (often referred to as welfare)—if you will not be able to work in the U.S. and don’t have medical insurance.
What do I need to bring to the exam?
- I-693 Form
- Passport for Photo Identification
- Payment for Immigration Physical
- Immunization Records (Flu, TDAP, MMR, Varicella)*
- TB testing and treatment records*
- Prior mental health records
- Vaccination reports*
*Must be translated to English if applicable
Need more help or ready to make an appointment?
At Buford Family Practice, we offer a wide range of services for the whole family. The Immigration Medical Exam is one of them!
If all of this is still confusing, feel free to call our office. Our staff is familiar with the ins and outs of the exam process. They will be happy to guide you about what exactly to bring and answer any questions you may have.
If you are ready to schedule an appointment give us a call. Please note that because only specific doctors can administer
Immigration Medical Exams we only offer them on specific days:
Buford Office: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday ONLY
Buford Family Practice & Urgent Center
2805 Hamilton Mill Road,
Buford, GA 30519
Lawrenceville Office: Wednesday ONLY
Community Family Practice & Urgent Care, P.C.
277 E. Crogan Street
Lawrenceville, GA 30046