How to Prepare for a USCIS Medical Exam
When immigrating to the United States, one of the steps you may have to go through is a USCIS-ordered medical exam. It’s a way for officials to check to make sure that you don’t have a health concern that could make you inadmissible to the country.
While it’s a pretty standard exam, many of our clients get nervous knowing that a government-authorized physician is going to be examining them and that the results of the examination could stand in the way of achieving immigration benefit. A good immigration attorney will help you prep for this medical exam, but we understand some people like to learn as much as they can in advance.
We’ll go over whether you will need a medical exam, how to prepare for yours if you do, and what the exam will be like. If you have more questions, you can always talk to your attorney.
Will You Will Need a USCIS Medical Exam?
Whether you will need a USCIS medical examination really depends on which type of benefit you are applying for and if you have any special circumstances. For example, you will usually need a medical examination if you are trying to get a waiver for certain medical grounds of inadmissibility. Most nonimmigrant benefits don’t require a medical exam, but an officer might order one if they think that there is evidence of a potential public health threat. USCIS maintains a chart of benefits and whether it requires a medical exam. Below are some of the highlights.
Applicants That Require a Medical Exam
- Immigrant visa applicants who are applying with the Department of State
- Adjustment of Status applicants
- K visa applicants who are applying with the Department of State
- V visa applicants who are applying with the Department of State
- Nonimmigrants seeking a V status
- Refugee applicants from overseas
- Derivative asylum applicants who are applying with the Department of State
- Internationally adopted orphans
Applicants That Often Do Not Require a Medical Exam
- Nonimmigrant visa applicants who are applying with the Department of State
- Temporary Protected Status applicants
- Asylum applicants who are in the United States
- Derivative refugee applicants who are in the United States
- Derivative asylum applicants who are in the United States
- Registry applicants
- North American Indians entering the United States
How to Prepare for a USCIS Medical Examination
There are ways to make the entire process smoother, and we can certainly help you. You might need to do some searching and possibly even order documents, so it’s important to plan ahead. Here are some things that you will need to bring:
- Medical records, including any earlier chest x-rays
- Your immunization records, including your COVID-19 vaccine record
- Your health insurance card, if you are insured
- A letter from your current doctor detailing your health issues and treatment plans
- Your proof of identification
If you’re already in the United States, you should also bring a copy of a partially filled out Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record. Fill out what you can ahead of time with your attorney, but don’t sign it until the doctor tells you it’s time to sign it.
Certain health issues could make you inadmissible, so make sure that you seek treatment for any communicable diseases of public health significance in advance. These include:
- Infectious Hansen’s disease
- Infectious Syphilis
- Active Class A tuberculosis
- Any disease considered quarantinable
You also need to make sure your vaccinations are up to date, so you can get that taken care of before your USCIS medical exam too. You will need to be up to date on the following vaccinations and any others needed. Their lists are subject to change, but at this time, you will need proof of vaccination against:
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis A
- Pneumococcal pneumonia
What Will Happen at My USCIS Medical Exam?
The physician will go over your medical history and your vaccination records. The doctor will also look at major events like an earlier severe illness or an earlier hospitalization. You will also get a physical. The doctor will examine your ears, nose, throat, eyes, limbs, lungs, heart, lymph nodes and skin. You will probably also get a chest x-ray so that they lower the risk of tuberculosis being spread around your U.S. community.
The doctor will ask about whether you are taking prescription drugs. They are also going to ask you about any alcohol consumption and drug use. Then, you will get a blood test. They will check your blood for the presence of syphilis. They will also test for gonorrhea. Lastly, they will screen you for certain mental health conditions.
Texas Immigration Attorney
The lawyers at Nanthaveth & Associates consistently and skillfully represent many clients facing the hurdles and red tape of USCIS petitions and applications. If you need help figuring out how to prepare for your USCIS medical exam, mention your concerns to your attorney. If you have other immigration issues and want a skilled, compassionate attorney on your side, contact us today for a free initial consultation.