Immigration Medical ClearanceNew York, NY
Immigration medical clearance means an authorized physician has verified that a person applying for permanent residence in the United States does not have any health condition that would make them inadmissible. This is an important step in the application process for a permanent resident card. Applicants must meet certain health criteria and undergo an exam as part of this process.
If you or a loved one is seeking immigration medical clearance, we can help. Dr. Marina Gafanovich performs immigration medical exams in her Upper East Side Manhattan office. Call 212-548-3263 to learn more or to schedule an appointment.
Immigration Medical Clearance Explained
The United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires all those applying for permanent residents in the United States to gain immigration medical clearance. To gain clearance, applicants must undergo a specific examination performed by a USCIS-authorized physician. The purpose of this is to protect the public health of the U.S. Population. Applicants are screened for certain communicable diseases and other health problems that would make them ineligible to be permanent residents. This type of denial of permanent residency is called “medical inadmissibility.”
The U.S. government asks the physician to check for Class A and Class B conditions for the exam. Class B conditions may not necessarily exclude someone from permanent residency. However, they can affect a person’s ability to work or require significant future medical treatment. On the other hand, Class A conditions are those that render an applicant medically inadmissible. According to WebMD, these include the following:
- A contagious disease such as tuberculosis, Hansen’s disease (leprosy), gonorrhea, or syphilis
- Drug addiction
- Lack of documentation of vaccinations (only for applicants over age 10)
- Mental illness with past harmful behavior that may reoccur
The Exam for Immigration Medical Clearance
In the United States, if the physician who performs the exam must be a civil surgeon. These are doctors authorized by USCIS. To become a civil surgeon, the physician must have been practicing and out of medical school for at least four years and undergo a certification process. However, a military doctor is considered a civil surgeon by default.
The doctor will start by interviewing the patient and reviewing their medical history. The purpose will be to find any evidence of physical or mental conditions that might make the patient medically inadmissible. The exam will include tests for infectious diseases, including tuberculosis, Hansen’s disease, syphilis, and gonorrhea. Those showing signs of tuberculosis may need to undergo a chest X-ray. Finally, the doctor will review the patient’s vaccination record.
Vaccinations Needed for Immigration Medical Clearance
Having the required vaccinations is crucial to gaining immigration medical clearance. There are exceptions based on age and medical condition. However, the immigration vaccination requirements are as follows:
- Haemophilus influenza type B
- Hepatitis A & B
- Mumps, measles & rubella
- Tetanus and diphtheria toxoids
Not receiving the age and medically appropriate vaccinations is a Class A condition and can render an applicant medically inadmissible. Therefore, the patient can receive the required vaccines needed during the exam.
Preparing for the Exam
Those concerned about having a Class A condition that could make them medically inadmissible have options. Those with a history of substance abuse should bring proof of completing treatment to their exam. Those with serious mental or physical health issues should bring proof they are managing their conditions well. Finally, those who have had contagious diseases such as leprosy, tuberculosis, gonorrhea, or syphilis should bring proof the disease has been cured.
In addition to medical information related to any possible Class A conditions, applicants should also bring the rest of their medical records. Applicants must bring a government-issued ID, such as a passport, to the exam. Also, they must have their vaccination records.
The most crucial piece of paperwork is a blank copy of Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record. The civil surgeon fills this out and gives it to the applicant in a sealed envelope for them to submit to immigration. The applicant must not open or tamper with the envelope seal, as this can render the form void.
Schedule a Visit Today
Doctor Marina Gafanovich and her team help applicants with immigration medical clearance at their Upper East Side Manhattan office. Our team will do our part to make this process as comfortable and hassle-free as possible. To learn more, call our office at 212-548-3263 to schedule an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions About Immigration Medical Clearance
Q. What qualifications does a doctor need to become a civil surgeon?
A. To become a civil surgeon, a doctor must have graduated from medical school and have been practicing for at least four years. They then must submit verification of their medical license, degree, immigration status, and employment along with a filing fee. More detailed information about becoming a civil surgeon can be found here. Military doctors are considered civil surgeons by default.
Q. What if I am found to have a condition that makes me medically inadmissible?
A. This is a legitimate concern for those going through this process. In this case, you can apply for a waiver. We recommend applicants consult an immigration lawyer about a waiver.
Q. Who should perform my exam for immigration medical clearance?
A. If your primary care provider is a civil surgeon, they can perform the exam. However, if not, you will need to find a civil surgeon. The USCIS offers this tool for locating one.
Q. Who needs immigration medical clearance?
A. Anyone applying for permanent residents must obtain immigration medical clearance. This includes those filing for an immigrant visa or an adjustment of status. Most nonimmigrants or those visiting us for vacation or temporarily do not need to undergo this medical exam.
Q. What do I do with the I-693 form after the exam?
A. That depends on when you will be submitting it. You can submit it with the rest of your paperwork or bring it with you to the immigration interview. The envelope must not be opened after the doctor seals it. The USCIS will not accept it if the seal has been opened or tampered with.
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