Legal News

Stethoscope, black pencil and notebook with IMMIGRATION MEDICAL EXAM word
Edited By Hetal Bansal on Dec 27,2023

Green Card Medical Exam 101: A Complete Overview and Tips


In the intricate process of securing a Green Card in the United States, one pivotal step stands outthe Green Card Medical Exam. This thorough medical evaluation is a mandatory component, ensuring the health and well-being of immigrants seeking permanent residency. Understanding its purpose, the components involved, necessary vaccinations, result implications, and the role of legal assistance is crucial for a smooth and successful immigration journey.

Purpose of a Green Card Medical Exam

The Green Card Medical Exam, officially known as the Immigration Medical Examination (IME), serves to protect public health by identifying any contagious diseases or health conditions that may pose a threat. It's conducted to ensure that individuals seeking permanent residency don't have any conditions that would make them inadmissible to the United States under health-related grounds.

The exam is mandatory for most applicants seeking adjustment of status or immigrant visas, and its typically conducted by a USCIS-approved civil surgeon or a panel physician, depending on the context of the application.

Requirements for the Green Card Medical Exam

Authorized Civil Surgeon: The exam must be conducted by a designated Civil Surgeon approved by USCIS. Finding a USCIS-approved doctor is crucial, as the results provided by an unauthorized physician will not be accepted.

Form I-693: Applicants are required to complete Form I-693, which is a report of a medical examination and vaccination record. This form should be filled out by the authorized Civil Surgeon during the examination.

Medical History and Physical Examination: The medical exam includes a review of the applicant's medical history, a physical examination, and various tests for specific diseases outlined by the USCIS.

Vaccination Requirements: The applicant must provide documentation of certain vaccinations as per the U.S. vaccine requirements. Vaccines such as MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), varicella (chickenpox), and others may be necessary.

Tuberculosis (TB) Test: Applicants aged two or older must undergo a tuberculosis (TB) test, which typically involves a skin test or blood test. If the results are positive, further evaluation might be required.

Which Vaccinations Are Needed?

The specific vaccinations required during the Green Card Medical Exam depend on age, medical history, and vaccination status. Applicants are generally expected to have documentation showing they've received the necessary vaccinations.

However, if certain vaccinations were not completed due to medical reasons or unavailability, a civil surgeon or panel physician may administer them during the examination.

The procedure of the Green Card Medical Exam

Find an Authorized Civil Surgeon: Utilize the USCIS website or contact USCIS directly to locate a designated Civil Surgeon in your area.

Schedule an Appointment: Contact the designated Civil Surgeon's office to schedule a medical examination appointment.

Prepare Necessary Documents: Bring all required documents, including a government-issued ID, vaccination records, and any previous medical records, to the appointment.

Undergo Medical Examination: The Civil Surgeon will conduct a thorough medical examination, review medical history, perform required tests, and complete Form I-693.

Vaccination Administration: If necessary, the Civil Surgeon will administer any missing vaccinations as per USCIS requirements.

Submission of Form I-693: The completed Form I-693 will be sealed by the Civil Surgeon and handed over to the applicant in a sealed envelope. It is the applicant's responsibility to submit this sealed envelope to USCIS as part of their Green Card application.

Tips for a Successful Green Card Medical Exam

Research and Preparation: Familiarize yourself with the USCIS requirements and gather all necessary documents before the appointment.

Complete Vaccinations: Ensure that you have received all required vaccinations before the medical exam to avoid delays or additional expenses.

Honesty and Accuracy: Provide accurate information regarding your medical history and conditions during the examination. Dishonesty or withholding information could result in complications.

Arrive Prepared: Arrive at the appointment on time and be prepared with all required documents to streamline the process.

Follow-Up, if Necessary: If additional tests or vaccinations are required based on the initial examination, follow through promptly to avoid delays in your immigration process.

Submit Sealed Envelope Promptly: Once you receive the sealed envelope with Form I-693, promptly submit it to USCIS as part of your Green Card application to avoid any expiration of the medical exam results.

What Happens with the Results of the Medical Exam?

After the examination, the physician completes Form I-693, which summarizes the findings. This form is then sealed and submitted to USCIS. The results typically remain valid for one year from the date of the examination.

USCIS reviews the results to determine if the applicant is admissible based on health-related grounds. In most cases, USCIS requires a sealed envelope containing Form I-693 during the Green Card application process.

Need of Lawyer With a Green Card Medical Exam

While hiring a lawyer isn't mandatory for the medical exam itself, legal guidance can be immensely beneficial throughout the Green Card application process. A lawyer specializing in immigration law can ensure that all necessary steps are followed, assist in preparing the required documentation, and guide on potential issues that may arise during the medical examination or application process.

Legal assistance is especially valuable if an applicant has a complicated medical history, has concerns about inadmissibility due to health reasons, or requires help navigating the complexities of the immigration system.


In conclusion, the Green Card Medical Exam is a pivotal step in the immigration process to the United States, ensuring the health and safety of both the applicant and the public. Understanding its purpose, the examination components, necessary vaccinations, result implications, and the potential benefits of legal assistance can significantly facilitate a successful immigration journey. Being well-prepared and informed about this process is key to a smoother path toward obtaining permanent residency in the USA.

This content was created by AI

Subscribe Your Email for Newsletter