If you are seeking to immigrate to the United States, you will need to undergo a medical examination as part of the application process. The medical examination is conducted by a USCIS-authorized civil surgeon and is required to screen for communicable diseases and ensure that you are not a public health risk.

Let’s take a moment to discuss what you can expect when getting your immigration physical.

Who needs to get an immigration physical?

Most individuals seeking to adjust their status to permanent residency, obtain an immigrant visa, or apply for refugee status are required to undergo a medical examination. The medical examination is also necessary for specific nonimmigrant visa categories, such as K-1 fiancé(e) visas.

It is important to note that the medical examination is mandatory for all applicants, regardless of age. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in the denial of your immigration application.

What to expect during the immigration physical?

The immigration physical is a comprehensive medical examination that includes a physical exam, a review of medical history, possible laboratory tests to screen for communicable diseases, and a behavioral assessment.

First, you will need to locate a civil surgeon near you and schedule your exam. Once you arrive at the medical office, the physical examination will include an assessment of your vital signs, such as blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate. The USCIS civil surgeon will also evaluate your eyes, ears, nose, throat, heart, lungs, abdomen, lymph nodes, and skin to ensure that there are no signs of infectious diseases or other health issues.

The medical history review will involve questions about your past and present health status, including medical conditions, hospitalizations, surgeries, and medications. The USCIS civil surgeon will also ask questions about your immunization status and administer any missing vaccinations.

In addition to the physical examination, laboratory tests will be conducted to screen for communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, syphilis, and HIV. The required tests may vary depending on age, medical history, and immigration status.

During the behavioral assessment, the civil surgeon will ask about personal history, including past criminal offenses, substance abuse, and mental health issues. The civil surgeon will also ask about any previous treatment for these issues. The purpose of the behavioral assessment is to ensure that there is no threat to public safety or national security.

If the civil surgeon determines a history of harmful or violent behavior, they may deem the applicant ineligible for immigration.

What should you bring to your immigration physical?

When attending your immigration physical, you should bring a government-issued photo identification such as a passport, driver’s license, or state ID. You should also get your immunization records and any medical records related to a past medical history of tuberculosis or any other communicable disease.

If you have a medical condition or have been diagnosed with a communicable disease, you should bring medical documentation regarding your treatment and management of the condition.

Bottom line

The immigration physical is an essential step in the immigration application process, as it is required to screen for communicable diseases and ensure that you are not a public health risk.

Preparing for the medical examination is crucial by bringing the necessary identification and medical records and following the guidelines set by the USCIS. By doing so, you can ensure that your medical examination is conducted accurately and efficiently, helping to ensure a successful outcome for your immigration application.


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