USCIS Physicals: US Citizenship and Immigration

April 27, 2021

An immigration physical exam is required to immigrate to the United States and become a permanent resident or green card holder. The appointment is a standard part of the immigration process intended to ensure public safety and remove the risk of inadmissibility. According to the CDC, health-related grounds for inadmissibility may include those with a communicable disease of public health significance, who cannot provide documentation of having received a vaccination against vaccine-preventable diseases, who have or have had a physical or mental disorder with associated harmful behavior, or who have a drug addiction.

Choosing the Right Doctor

An immigration physical exam cannot be performed by any doctor. Applicants applying in the United States must visit a government-approved doctor called a “civil surgeon”. Texas MedClinic is certified by the Department of State and has 21 civil surgeons on staff in San Antonio and 2 in the Austin area.

What to Bring with You

You will be required to bring several documents with you to your exam. While the list will vary depending upon the location of your physical, be prepared to bring the following to your visit:

  • Valid passport or government-issued photo ID
  • A copy of your vaccination record
  • Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination, and Vaccination Record (if adjusting status)
  • The fee for the exam
  • Required number of US passport photos
  • Report of the condition and any special education or supervision requirements (if anyone in your family is immigrating with learning disabilities)
  • A list of your current medications
  • Tuberculosis certificate from your doctor if you were diagnosed and properly treated
  • A certificate of clearance if you have been diagnosed by a doctor or health official with syphilis and were properly treated
  • If you have a history of harmful or violent behavior you must provide information that can help the civil surgeon determine whether the behavior was psychiatric or medical in nature, or the result of drug or alcohol abuse.
  • If you have been treated or hospitalized for any psychiatric or mental illness, you must provide written certification including diagnosis, length of treatment, and prognosis.

The Exam Process

During the physical exam, your civil surgeon will perform a full physical examination as well as:

  • IGRA TB Blood Test*
  • Syphilis, Gonorrhea, and Hansen’s Disease testing*
  • Physical and Mental Disorders and Substance Abuse examination
  • Vaccinations

(Tests marked with an *asterisk must be performed in a civil surgeon’s office or lab.)

Communicable diseases that can cause an applicant to fail an exam include:

  • Tuberculosis
  • Syphilis
  • Gonorrhea
  • Hansen’s Disease (Leprosy)
  • Quarantinable diseases designated by a Presidential Executive Order
  • Events reported as a public health emergency to the World Health Organization

Health-related waivers may be available for some of these diseases. Visit the CDC website to learn more.

Submitting Exam Results

Once your exam is complete, you must submit your results to the government. Exam results must be signed by a civil surgeon no more than 60 days before you submit Form I-485. Your exam results are valid for two years from the signature date.

Our professional and well-trained civil surgeons will be happy to help you through the UCIS physical process. Please contact the Texas MedClinic nearest you to check the location and availability of the nearest civil surgeon.

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