Immigration Medical Exam: What Happens & How to Prepare

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Before obtaining a green card, taking the immigration medical exam is imperative. Taking your medical exam for a green card is one of the last steps you must go through to get permanent residency.

Your immigration medical exam can be prepared for beforehand, alleviating any issues that could arise. Ultimately, this exam is efficiently completed and more about formalities. This exam takes around two to three days to complete, but it can be monumental for your green card approval.

In this article, we will answer the most common questions that revolve around this exam and further explain each part of the green card medical exam.

What Is the Immigration Medical Exam?

The immigration physical exam is ultimately done to ensure that you are not inadmissible to the U.S. on the grounds of public health. Simply put, the U.S. wants to make sure that you are not traveling to the country with a disease that could put the country at risk or impact the health and safety of its citizens.

Mistakes on your USCIS application forms can lead to rejection, denial, or delay in processing your application. Prepare your application safely and securely using Immigration Direct’s online immigration software to eliminate costly mistakes. Our software provides you with easy-to-understand instructions to prepare and also access to other services to file your application correctly. Get Started Now.

The Objective of the Immigration Medical Exam

The medical examination for a green card is used to determine the applicant’s health, making sure that their admittance to the country isn’t putting other citizens at risk. During the medical exam, there are a few parts that an authorized doctor will carry out, which include:

  • Looking over and reviewing medical history
  • Immunization records
  • A physical and mental evaluation
  • Tests for different diseases or illnesses

What to Know Before the Medical Examination for Immigration

When it comes to preparing for the medical examination, various things can be done.

Choosing a Doctor for Your Exam

Choosing a doctor for your medical examination for immigration is no easy feat. You will need to seek an authorized physician when taking this medical exam for your green card. In other words, you will need to seek out a USCIS-approved doctor.

In many cases, USCIS can find a doctor for you, and you can undergo the exam. Additionally, looking online can be of assistance when searching for a professional for this exam.

When to Schedule an Immigration Medical Examination

When you are scheduling your medical examination within the United States, you have two options. The first way to schedule your appointment is to schedule it before you begin your green card application process. If this is the case, you can submit your medical examination along with your green card application.

On the other hand, many will wait until after they submit their application to schedule their medical exam. If you go down this route, you will need to speak to USCIS about finding a doctor who is qualified for this test and make an appointment.

Suppose you are applying for a green card while living outside the United States. In that case, you will need to wait to schedule your medical exam until you receive a green card interview appointment from the National Visa Center. You can then search for a consulate in your home country and make an appointment for your medical exam with an approved doctor.

What to Take to Your Medical Exam

Preparing documents for the medical exam will be done long before your appointment. You must gather the following documents for your exam:

  • All up-to-date vaccinations
  • Any positive tuberculosis (TB) tests that are signed by your previous doctor stating you had proper medical treatment.
  • Any mental diagnosis paperwork that shows clear treatment or improvement
  • Chronic illness documentation, if applicable
  • Health insurance information
  • A copy of your medical history

If you are inside the U.S. and taking this exam for adjustment of status, the only medical exam form for your green card that must be brought to your appointment is Form I-693. This form is known as the report of medical examination and vaccination record. The I-693 form is an important part of your medical exam.

The only instructions for Form I-693 are that you can fill in the top part of this form before attending your appointment. While at your appointment, the doctor will complete the rest of the form and any needed paperwork.

Cost of Immigration Medical Examination

The green card medical examination costs anywhere between $100 and $500. However, many have reported paying around the $200 mark.

What to Know During the Medical Examination for Immigration

Your doctor will examine a few things within this exam, which we will list in more detail below.

  • Tuberculosis test: This test is done because TB is considered a disease that puts others’ safety at risk. If you are applying for a green card within the U.S., this test will be carried out by an IGRA test, which can reveal any signs of this disease. When applying from outside of the U.SX-rays might be required to spot signs and symptoms.
  • Vaccination requirements for immigrants: In this part of the medical exam, your doctor will make sure you are up to date on all U.S. required vaccinations. If you’re not up to date, you can get these vaccinations done during your exam. To prove your vaccination status, you can bring the necessary vaccination paperwork to show.
  • Medical history review: Simply put, the documentation you bring to your appointment will be looked over by your USCIS-approved physician. Your health care professional will bring up any questions or concerns.
  • Physical exam: As with other medical examinations, your physical fitness and health will be examined.
  • Mental exam: Any mental disorders or illnesses will be looked at here. Of course, these are quite common nowadays, but if you are risking U.S. citizens’ safety, this could pose a potential issue in moving forward with your green card.
  • Drug and alcohol screening: In this part of the exam, you will be asked questions about your drug and alcohol use and history.
  • Blood and urine screening: These tests will be done simply to test for signs of syphilis or gonorrhea for those that are 15 years of age or older.

What to Know After the Medical Examination for Immigration

When your exam is finished, you will need to sign all the forms that your doctor completed. If you forget to sign any of the forms, USCIS will not accept your documentation. Following your signature and your physician’s signature, they will officially seal your documents.

If you are submitting these forms from within the U.S., you should not open the sealed envelope that your doctor presents to you. Simply bring this envelope with you to your USCIS immigration interview.

If you are applying for a green card from abroad, you should send this envelope to the appropriate consulate or bring it with you to your next appointment.

Important Information for Women

All females must undergo and complete this medical exam, even if they are in their menstrual periods. In addition, those who are pregnant are required to have a chest X-ray during their exam.

Health-Related Reasons for Denial

Many immigrants have a lot of green card medical examination anxiety that comes about when taking this exam. The green card medical exam is relatively easy and will be carried out by an immigration doctor. There are a few health-related reasons that this doctor could deny your green card, which include:

  1. Physical or mental disorders that show an intense history of threatening behavior that could pose a threat to others
  2. A communicable disease that could be of danger to U.S. citizens (for example, TB or infectious leprosy are two diseases that, if diagnosed, can affect your chances of obtaining a green card in the United States)
  3. Drug addictions or a dangerous history of drug abuse

Preventing or Challenging Health-Related Denial

If any of the above-listed medical issues are being cured or overcome, you can sometimes find an exception. This is where speaking to an immigration lawyer could come in handy. They can sometimes prepare waivers for any conditions listed above.


If you are applying for your green card, whether it be from within the United States or outside of the country, your medical examination is essential. Of course, countless parts go into completing this exam, and sometimes external support is needed. That is where ImmigrationDirect can help.

For any questions or concerns, you may have, contact us today. We make immigration paperwork easy with new and innovative software. Completing the green card process has never been easier with the help and support of ImmigrationDirect.

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