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Medical Exam Unveiled: Your Guide to Smooth Green Card Journey

medical exam for green card

Navigating the Medical Exam Maze: A Comprehensive Guide for Green Card Applicants

Embarking on the journey to obtain a green card can be both exciting and daunting. Amidst the paperwork and legal requirements, one crucial step that often raises questions and concerns is the medical exam. Understanding the purpose and process of this exam can alleviate anxiety and ensure a smooth application process.

The medical exam for a green card serves as a health screening to protect the well-being of both the applicant and the United States. It aims to identify any potential health risks or contagious diseases that may pose a threat to public health. By undergoing this exam, applicants can demonstrate their physical and mental fitness to become lawful permanent residents.

The exam typically includes a series of tests and procedures conducted by a designated civil surgeon. These may involve physical examinations, blood tests, chest X-rays, and inquiries about medical history. The civil surgeon will evaluate the results and determine whether the applicant meets the health requirements set by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

In summary, the medical exam for a green card serves as a crucial step in the application process, ensuring the health and safety of both the applicant and the community. By understanding the purpose and process of this exam, applicants can approach it with confidence and take the necessary steps to prepare for a successful outcome.

Doctor Checking Patient

Medical Exam for Green Card: A Comprehensive Guide

Applying for a U.S. green card is a rigorous process that necessitates careful preparation and adherence to specific criteria, including a thorough medical examination. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the essential aspects of the medical exam, ensuring a smooth and successful application process.

Who Needs a Medical Exam for a Green Card?

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires all immigrants applying for permanent residency (green card) to undergo a medical examination conducted by a USCIS-approved civil surgeon. This applies to applicants of all age groups and health conditions, with certain exceptions for those who are exempt from the requirement based on age or disability.

People in a Waiting Room

What to Expect During the Medical Exam

The medical exam for a green card is comprehensive and typically takes about an hour. Conducted by a USCIS-approved civil surgeon, the exam includes several components:

1. Physical Examination:

  • General physical assessment of height, weight, and vital signs
  • Evaluation of the head, neck, chest, abdomen, and extremities

2. Blood and Urine Tests:

  • Blood tests for syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis B
  • Urine test for tuberculosis (TB)

3. Chest X-ray:

  • Examination for signs of TB or other lung abnormalities

Doctor Using Stethoscope on Patient

Common Medical Conditions and the Impact on Green Card Application

Certain medical conditions may affect the outcome of your green card application. These conditions can be classified into three categories:

1. Class A Conditions:

  • Communicable diseases with significant public health implications, such as active TB and untreated syphilis
  • Automatically disqualify applicants from obtaining a green card

2. Class B Conditions:

  • Conditions that may pose a threat to the public health, such as HIV or hepatitis B
  • Require a waiver from USCIS to be granted a green card

3. Non-Disqualifying Conditions:

  • Medical conditions that do not pose a threat to public health, such as diabetes or asthma
  • Do not require a waiver and do not affect the green card application

Doctor Showing X-ray to Patient

How to Prepare for the Medical Exam

To ensure a smooth and successful medical exam, consider the following tips:

1. Research and Preparation:

  • Gather necessary information about the medical exam, including the location, date, and time
  • Review the list of required vaccinations and bring proof of vaccination

2. Medical History:

  • Provide a complete and accurate medical history, including any medications you are taking

3. Fasting:

  • For the blood test, fasting for at least 8 hours before the exam is recommended

4. Documentation:

  • Bring your green card application form (Form I-485) and other relevant documents

Group of People in a Waiting Room

What Happens After the Medical Exam?

After the medical exam, the civil surgeon will send the results to USCIS. The processing time for green card applications varies, but generally, the results are available within a few weeks. If you have any medical conditions that may affect your eligibility, you may be required to submit additional medical evidence or undergo further testing.


The medical exam for a green card is an essential part of the immigration process, ensuring that applicants are in good health and free from certain communicable diseases. By understanding the process, requirements, and potential implications of medical conditions, you can prepare effectively and increase your chances of a successful green card application.


1. Can I choose the civil surgeon for my medical exam?

  • Yes, you can choose a USCIS-approved civil surgeon from the list provided by USCIS.

2. What are the costs associated with the medical exam?

  • The fees for the medical exam vary depending on the civil surgeon's charges. It is advisable to contact the surgeon's office for specific information.

3. Can I appeal if I am denied a green card due to a medical condition?

  • Yes, you can file an appeal with USCIS if you believe the decision was unfair or based on inaccurate information.

4. How long is the medical exam valid for?

  • The medical exam is valid for one year from the date of the examination.

5. What are the consequences of failing the medical exam?

  • Failing the medical exam may result in the denial of your green card application. However, you may be eligible for a waiver or further evaluation depending on the specific medical condition.
Video Medical Exams & Vaccinations for U.S. Green Card Applicants
Source: CHANNET YOUTUBE Berardi Immigration Law