Immigrating to the United States is a big deal. While there are many rules and regulations to follow, one of the most important parts of the process is the immigration physical.
Designed to ensure public safety, the physical itself is fairly routine, but you’ll want to make sure you have everything you need. The expert team at Physician’s Medical Primary Care is well-versed in conducting immigration physicals — here’s what you need to know.
What is an immigration physical?
If you are immigrating to the United States from another country and want to obtain a green card to become a permanent resident, you must undergo an immigration medical examination, also known as a green card medical exam.
This physical exam must be done by a doctor who has been authorized by the US Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) — also called a designated civil surgeon. The purpose of the physical is to protect the general health of the public by ensuring you are free from certain infectious diseases and medical conditions.
There are four primary medical conditions that can block an immigrant from entering the country:
- A communicable disease that could affect the public health
- Substance use disorder
- Physical or mental disorders with harmful behaviors
- Failure to show proof of required vaccinations
What do I need to take the exam?
You’ll need to bring a few items with you so the doctor can complete the exam. These include:
- A government-issued form of international identification, such as a passport, identity card, or travel document.
- Immunization/vaccination records, or bloodwork results that show your immunity
- Copies of your medical records
- Copies of any chest X-rays you’ve had
It’s a good idea to make sure you have all this before you schedule your appointment. Without this documentation, the provider is not allowed to complete the exam.
What happens during the appointment?
During your appointment, the doctor will review your medical history and vaccination records, and perform a physical exam. They will also perform blood tests to check for communicable diseases that pose a public health risk, such as syphilis gonorrhea, tuberculosis, and leprosy.
The doctor will also look for any signs of drug or alcohol addiction, along with any indications of physical or mental disorders that could lead to harmful behaviors.
Once the exam is over, they’ll give you a copy of all test results and fill out the necessary paperwork required by the USCIS. Your results from the exam are good for up to a full year.
If you need a USCIS-certified doctor to conduct your immigration physical, call one of the Physician’s Medical Primary Care San Jose, California, offices or book an appointment online. We’ll help smooth your path to help you reach your American dream!