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Get Your Green Card: A Comprehensive Guide to the Medical Exam

medical exam for green card application

Applying for a Green Card? Prepare for Your Medical Exam to Ensure a Smooth Process

The road to obtaining a green card can be challenging, and one of the critical steps is passing the medical exam. This comprehensive assessment aims to ensure that you don't pose a health risk to the United States. While it may seem daunting, preparing adequately can help alleviate anxiety and increase your chances of success.

Understanding the Purpose of the Medical Exam:

The medical exam is a crucial part of the green card application process. Its primary purpose is to protect the health of U.S. citizens and residents. The exam helps identify any communicable diseases or health conditions that may pose a threat to public health. Additionally, it ensures that you can work and won't become a public charge, potentially straining the healthcare system and social services.

Preparing for the Medical Exam:

To sail through the medical exam smoothly, preparing thoroughly is essential. Begin by gathering the required documentation, including your vaccination records, medical history, and any relevant medical test results. You'll need to undergo a physical examination, which includes checking your blood pressure, heart rate, and overall health. Additionally, you'll be tested for various infectious diseases, including tuberculosis, syphilis, and HIV.

Overcoming Common Challenges:

Many applicants worry about potential issues during the medical exam. One common concern is having a medical condition that could disqualify them from obtaining a green card. However, it's important to remember that the exam focuses primarily on communicable diseases and conditions that pose a public health risk. If you have a chronic condition that's under control, you may still be eligible for a green card.

Navigating the Process with Confidence:

The medical exam for a green card application is a significant step, but it's manageable with proper preparation. By understanding the purpose of the exam, preparing the necessary documentation, and addressing any concerns or challenges proactively, you can increase your chances of a successful outcome. Remember that the medical exam is just one aspect of the green card application process, and with determination and perseverance, you can achieve your immigration goals.

Medical Exam for Green Card Application: A Comprehensive Guide

Understanding the Purpose of a Medical Exam

Before embarking on the journey of applying for a Green Card, it's essential to have a clear understanding of the role a medical examination plays in the process. This mandatory examination serves as a crucial step in assessing an individual's health and verifying their eligibility for permanent residence in the United States. Let's explore the significance of this exam and the procedures involved.

Who Needs to Undergo a Medical Exam?

1. Green Card Applicants

All individuals seeking a Green Card through various pathways, including family-based, employment-based, and diversity lottery programs, must undergo a medical exam.

2. Dependents

The requirement for a medical exam extends to family members accompanying the principal applicant for permanent residency.

3. Adjustment of Status Applicants

If an individual is in the U.S. and seeking to adjust their status to that of a lawful permanent resident, a medical examination is a prerequisite.

4. Refugee and Asylee Applicants

Individuals applying for refugee status or asylum must also undergo a medical exam before their applications can be considered.

Where and When to Schedule the Medical Exam

1. Designated Civil Surgeons

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) authorizes specific healthcare providers, known as Designated Civil Surgeons (DCSs), to conduct these medical examinations. A list of approved DCSs is available on the USCIS website.

2. Scheduling the Exam

Once you have identified an authorized DCS, schedule an appointment for your medical exam well in advance to avoid delays in your application process.

What to Expect During the Medical Exam

1. Physical Examination

The DCS will conduct a thorough physical examination, checking vital signs, height, weight, general appearance, and skin condition. Additionally, they will examine your eyes, ears, nose, throat, heart, lungs, and abdomen.

2. Blood and Urine Tests

You will be required to provide blood and urine samples for laboratory testing. These tests aim to detect infectious diseases, such as HIV, syphilis, and tuberculosis, as well as other health conditions.

3. Vaccination Records

The DCS will review your vaccination records and may administer additional vaccinations if necessary. Proof of vaccination against measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), polio, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), hepatitis B, and varicella (chickenpox) is typically required.

4. Mental Health Evaluation

In certain cases, the DCS may conduct a mental health evaluation to assess an individual's ability to adapt to life in the United States.

Common Reasons for Medical Inadmissibility

1. Communicable Diseases

The presence of certain communicable diseases, such as active tuberculosis or untreated sexually transmitted infections, can lead to a finding of medical inadmissibility.

2. Physical or Mental Disorders

Physical or mental disorders that may pose a threat to the public health or safety can also result in inadmissibility.

3. Drug Abuse and Addiction

Individuals with a history of drug abuse or addiction may face medical inadmissibility unless they have successfully completed a rehabilitation program.

Overcoming Medical Inadmissibility

1. Waivers

In some cases, individuals who are found medically inadmissible may be eligible for a waiver. Waivers are granted on a case-by-case basis and require the submission of additional documentation and evidence.

2. Treatment and Follow-Up

For certain conditions, undergoing treatment and demonstrating improvement or recovery can help overcome medical inadmissibility.

Supporting Documentation

1. Medical Records

Applicants must provide complete and accurate medical records, including immunization records and results of any relevant tests or examinations.

2. Vaccination Records

Proof of vaccination against required diseases is essential. If you do not have a record of your vaccinations, you may need to get vaccinated again.

3. Translated Documents

If your medical records are not in English, they must be translated by a certified translator.


All information collected during the medical exam is strictly confidential and is only shared with the USCIS. The results will not be disclosed to the general public or potential employers.


A medical exam plays a pivotal role in the Green Card application process, ensuring that applicants are in good health and meet the medical criteria for permanent residency. Thorough preparation and understanding of the process can help streamline the application and increase the chances of approval. It's crucial to schedule the exam promptly, gather necessary documentation, and address any medical concerns or issues proactively.


1. Can I choose my own doctor for the medical exam?

No, you must see a Designated Civil Surgeon (DCS) authorized by the USCIS.

2. What is the cost of the medical exam?

The cost of the medical exam varies depending on the healthcare provider and the location. Generally, the fees range from $200 to $500.

3. How long does it take to get the results of the medical exam?

The processing time for medical exam results can vary from a few days to several weeks.

4. What happens if I have a medical condition that could make me inadmissible?

If you have a medical condition that could make you inadmissible, you may be eligible for a waiver.

5. Can I appeal a denial of my Green Card application based on medical grounds?

Yes, you can appeal the denial of your Green Card application if you believe the decision was based on incorrect or incomplete information.

Video Green Card Medical Exam - Useful Tips
Source: CHANNET YOUTUBE US Immigration Talk