When you apply for a green card (adjustment of status) in the United States, you usually need to have a medical examination. The purpose of this examination is to make sure that you are not inadmissible to the U.S. based on any public health grounds. The public health grounds of inadmissibility include: having a communicable disease, failure to get certain vaccines, having or previously having a physical or mental disorder with accompanying harmful behavior, and being a drug abuser or addict.
If you are deemed as an inadmissible applicant, you will not be able to obtain your Green Card unless U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) grants you a waiver (legal forgiveness), that is, if a waiver is available for your particular ground of inadmissibility. With the exception of drug abuse and addiction, most health-related grounds of inadmissibility can be waived. The exam must be done by a doctor who is authorized by USCIS.
Finding an Authorized Doctor
USCIS designates certain doctors (also known as civil surgeons) to perform the medical exam required for most Green Card applicants. Military physicians are authorized to perform immigration medical exams at a military treatment facility within the United States for U.S. veterans, members of the U.S. military and designated dependents.
If you are in the United States, a physician who is a designated “civil surgeon” should perform your medical exam. You can find a civil surgeon by using the USCIS civil surgeons locator.
Immigration medical examinations performed outside the United States and its territories must be done by a panel physician. Panel physicians are different from civil surgeons. Panel physicians are designated by the Department of State and provide immigration medical examinations required as part of visa processing at a U.S. Embassy or consulate abroad.
Cost of the Exam
You will need to pay for your exam, separately from your other application fees. The U.S. immigration authorities do not regulate the cost of the medical exam. Therefore, how much your medical exam costs will depend on how much the civil surgeon or panel physician you choose charges. You can contact doctors ahead of time to find out and compare how much each one charges.
What to Bring to the Exam
Bring the following to your medical exam:
- Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record
- Government-issued photo identification, such as a valid passport or driver’s license. If you are 14 years old or younger, bring identification that shows your name, date, place of birth, and parents’ full name. Possible forms of identification include your birth certificate (with an English translation) or an affidavit.
- Vaccination or immunization record (such as DT, DTP, DTaP, Td, Tdap, OPV, IPV, MMR, Hib, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, varicella, pneumococcal influenza, rotavirus and meningococcal disease)
- Medical insurance card (check with the doctor’s office to make sure the office accepts your medical plan)
During the Exam
The doctor will test for communicable diseases such as tuberculosis and syphilis. The tuberculosis test is done in two parts. You will have to return to the doctor’s office within two to three days to have the results read. The syphilis test is a blood test. The doctor will also check your records to see if you need any vaccinations.
Receiving Your Exam Results
If you are applying for your green card from within the U.S. though an adjustment of status process, the civil surgeon will record the results of your medical exam on Form I-693. You should download, print, and bring this form with you to your appointment with the civil surgeon. The civil surgeon will give you the original completed form in a sealed envelope, which you will submit to USCIS. Make sure you get a copy of the completed Form I-693 for your personal records before the doctor seals the envelope. USCIS will not accept the form if the envelope has been opened or altered.
If you are applying for your green card from outside the U.S. through the consular processing, the panel physician will record the results of your medical exam on Form DS-2053 or Form DS-2054 and related worksheets. The panel physician will either give you the results of the medical exam to bring with you your visa interview or will mail the results directly to the U.S. embassy or consulate.
- For full details, please go to uscis.gov/i-693.
- Communicable Diseases of Public Health Significance (https://www.uscis.gov/policymanual/HTML/PolicyManual-Volume8-PartB-Chapter6.html)