Green Card Medical ExamNew York, NY
The green card medical exam is an important step toward gaining permanent residency in the United States. It assures that those immigrating to this country do not pose a significant public health risk. A government-authorized physician performs this comprehensive medical exam.
Dr. Marina Gafanovich is an internist and civil surgeon offering green card exams at her Upper East Side Manhattan office. Our team will walk you through each step in this process. To learn more or schedule an appointment, call 212-548-3263 today.
What is a Green Card?
A green card is officially known as a permanent resident card. It allows people to work and live permanently in the United States. At one time, the card was green, hence the nickname green card, which is still in frequent use today.
The green card or permanent resident card contains a photograph, fingerprint, and the person’s basic biographical information. Once someone obtains a green card, they are not a U.S citizen. However, they enjoy many of the same benefits, such as protection under federal, state, and local laws.
Why a Green Card Medical Exam?
Everyone applying for a green card must undergo a medical exam as part of the process. The purpose is to ensure noncitizens, including those applying for admission or adjustment of status as a permanent resident, do not pose a threat to U.S. public health. Things that might make one inadmissible are called Class A conditions and include the following:
- Drug/substance addiction
- Having certain communicable diseases
- Not having required immunizations
- Suffering from a mental disorder that leads to harmful behaviors
There are waivers for some of the above circumstances. Our team can discuss these with applicants if necessary. Many are nervous about the exam process. However, we will advise patients through every step of the process and do our part to help patients feel comfortable.
Who Can Perform a Green Card Exam
It is important to know that a green card exam is unlike other clearance exams, such as those for employment and school. A wide range of physicians can perform these exams. However, a green card medical exam requires special authorization.
Only physicians authorized by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can perform these exams inside the U.S. These doctors are known as civil surgeons. To become a civil surgeon, a doctor must have been working and out of medical school for four years. The certification process requires the doctor to pay a filing fee and verify their immigration status, current medical license, medical degree, and employment. However, military doctors are civil surgeons by default.
A green card medical exam starts with the doctor interviewing the patient about their current and previous mental and physical health. Most of these questions are to determine if the patient has any of the Class A conditions. The doctor will also be screening for what are known as Class B conditions, medical issues that may affect the patient’s ability to work or go to school, or conditions that may require significant medical care in the future.
The exam portion includes testing for infectious diseases. The doctor will test all those over the age of two for tuberculosis and those over age 15 for syphilis and gonorrhea. Those showing signs of tuberculosis will need to have chest X-Rays.
Finally, the doctor will make sure the patient has the required vaccinations. The vaccines the patient receives will be determined by the age group they fall into. According to the USCIS, the required immunizations include:
- Haemophilus influenza type B
- Hepatitis A & B
- Mumps, measles & rubella
- Pneumococcal pneumonia
- Tetanus and diphtheria toxoids
The doctor includes the exam by completing Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record. This is given to the patient in a sealed envelope to submit to USCIS with the rest of their application. Forms will not be accepted if the envelope has been opened.
Prepare for Your Appointment
It is important the patient has all the necessary paperwork and information when they arrive at the appointment. Most importantly, patients must bring a blank copy of the I-693 form for the doctor to complete. The patient will also need a government-issued photo ID, such as a passport, along with their medical and vaccination records.
The applicant should plan ahead and ensure they will have the exam and all related tests and vaccinations completed by their immigration interview. The patient should ask the doctor for a copy of the completed I-693 for their records. We recommend patients allow about an hour for the appointment.
Schedule a Visit Today
Dr. Marina Gafanovich is authorized by the USCIS to provide green card medical exams. Our team will guide you through the process of getting what you need for the medical portion of your green card application. Call our office at 212-548-3263 to learn more or schedule an appointment. We look forward to helping you
Frequently Asked Questions About Green Card Medical Exam
Q. Can my primary care provider, urgent care, or walk-in clinic, provide a green card medical exam?
A. No, you cannot go to just any doctor for a green card medical exam. The doctor must be a civil surgeon authorized by USCIS to perform the exam. If the doctor is not authorized, the exam will not be valid.
Q. What is the cost of a green card medical exam?
A. The answer to this varies. It is dependent upon many factors, including where you have the exam, the doctor, and the tests and vaccinations required for you. We advise you to contact us so we can discuss your situation.
Q. Where can I find a civil surgeon?
A. There are several options for finding a civil surgeon. Friends and family are always excellent resources for finding a physician who has the proper qualifications. Also, the internet is an excellent resource. The USCIS website has this tool you can use.
Q. Will I need to bring a list of prescription drugs I am currently taking?
A. You will need to bring all relevant medical information. This includes any prescription drugs you are taking. It is important you are thorough during the exam and do not leave anything out.
Q. What happens after the exam?
A. At the end of the exam, the doctor will give you the Form I-693 they have completed in a sealed envelope. Do not open the envelope or tamper with it in any way, or it may be void. Include this enveloped Form I-693 with the rest of the green card paperwork you send to USCIS, or bring it with you to your green card interview.
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