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Health and Medical Inadmissibility to the US

The certain communicable diseases and conditions may make you inadmissible to the US. Learn what you can do to avoid being denied entry to the US for your health.

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There are several reasons one may be denied entry to the United States including for medical reasons. Someone’s health may make them inadmissible to the US. The medical grounds of inadmissibility, the medical examination of foreign nationals, and the vaccinations administered to foreign nationals are designed to protect the health of the United States population. The immigration medical examination, the resulting medical examination report, and the vaccination record provide the information USCIS uses to determine if a foreign national meets the health-related standards for admissibility.

Could I Be Denied Entry to the US for my Health?

There are four main reasons why someone could be denied entry to the US because of their health:

  • Communicable disease of public health significance,
  • An immigrant’s failure to show proof of required vaccinations,
  • Physical or mental disorder with associated harmful behavior, and
  • Drug abuse or addiction.

If you do have a communicable disease you will want to apply for the I-601 form which is the Application for Waiver Ground of Inadmissibility. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) maintains a list of communicable diseases that would cause someone to fail their medical examination or be prevented from entering the United States. Such diseases include the following:

  • Tuberculosis (active)
  • Syphilis (infectious stage)
  • Chancroid
  • Gonorrhea
  • Granuloma Inguinale
  • Lymphogranuloma Venereum
  • Hansen’s Disease (Leprosy, infectious)

Note that as of January 4, 2010, being HIV positive is no longer grounds for inadmissibility and you do not need a Waiver to receive a visa.

How to Prepare for the Medical Exam for US Immigration

The exam, to be completed by a government-authorized doctor, consists of several parts:

  • A review of your medical history and immunization records
  • A physical and mental evaluation
  • Drug and alcohol screening
  • Tests for various diseases and illnesses

The cost of the medical exam varies significantly by location and provider. Boundless customers have reported paying between $100 and $500, but $200 is typical.

Having all of your documents ready before your appointment can help the medical exam go smoothly. Here’s what you’ll need to bring with you:

  • Your immunization or vaccination records
  • A copy of your medical history
  • Copies of any previous chest X-rays, if any
  • A letter from your regular doctor outlining the treatment plan for any health problems you have
  • A government-issued photo ID, such as your passport, state ID, driver’s license, travel permit, or work permit
  • Payment for the medical exam fee (check with the doctor’s office before your appointment for acceptable payment options)
  • Your health insurance card, if any (check with the doctor’s office before your appointment if they accept your insurance)

Medical Exam for US Immigration FAQ

What medical tests are done for US Immigration?

The medical examination will include a medical history, physical examination, chest X-ray and blood tests for syphilis. The physical examination will include at a minimum: examination of the eyes, ears, nose and throat, extremities, heart, lungs, abdomen, lymph nodes, skin and external genitalia.

How long does a medical exam for immigration take?

If you’re applying as a temporary resident (visitor, student, worker), it takes about four weeks to process your medical exam results. After that, we’ll tell you what to do next. If you’re applying as a permanent resident, it takes about three months to process your results after we get them from the panel physician.

Does health insurance cover immigration medical exam?

Important: Mostly immigration medical exams are not covered by health insurance plans and you will end up paying it from your pocket. Ask for their fees when you call to make an appointment. Vaccines might be covered by insurance if the doctor you are visiting accepts insurance.

Does immigration medical exam drug test?

A drug test is not required as part of the green card specific medical exam you’ll need to take, but any “soft” drug consumption during the last 2 weeks (but not before) will show up in the urine test you’ll need to take as part of the GC medical

Do immigration medical exams expire?

Effective November 1, 2018, the I-693 medical report will be valid for two years from the date of submission to USCIS (and not one year as it is currently). At the same time, USCIS are shortening the I-693 validity period to 60 days from the date the Civil Surgeon signs the I-693 medical exam (it used to be one year).

What vaccinations do I need for US immigration?

Under the immigration laws of the United States, a foreign national who applies for an immigrant visa abroad, or who seeks to adjust status to a permanent resident while in the United States, is required to receive vaccinations to prevent the following diseases: Mumps. Measles. Rubella.

Do I need a medical exam for green card?

The green card medical examination is an important step of the immigration process and is required for all spouses seeking a marriage-based green card. The exam, to be completed by a government-authorized doctor, consists of several parts: A review of your medical history and immunization records.

What does medical exam for Green Card include?

The medical examination will include a medical history review, physical examination, chest X-ray and blood tests for syphilis. The physical examination will at least include examination of the eyes, ears, nose and throat, extremities, heart, lungs, abdomen, lymph nodes and skin.

How much is the medical exam for US Immigration?

The new examination fee for all adult IV applicants is now approximately $275. This new fee reflects the cost of doing new, mandatory testing for gonorrhea for all adult visa applicants. The examination may also reveal a need to obtain vaccinations, which have additional charges.

Is Form I 693 required?

I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record. Generally, all applicants filing for adjustment of status to that of a lawful permanent resident must submit Form I-693 completed by a designated civil surgeon. Form I-693 is used to report results of a medical examination to USCIS.

Why You Need Legal Help When Entering the US with a Health Issue

Whenever someone is denied entry at the border, the individual is not only unable to enter the U.S., but he or she faces an unexpected trip back home (not to mention feelings of humiliation and depression). However, in addition to exploring opportunities to waive inadmissibility, a legal expert can help ensure that an individual is not wrongfully denied entry in the first place. Not every disease or health issue makes a person inadmissible. It is therefore important to carefully investigate your background to determine if, despite whether you having health issues, you may still be able to enter the U.S.

Why Hire Us to Help You With Your Denied Entry Case?

For over 15 years, we have helped countless individuals who thought they had no hope in entering the States due to a refused entry with their cases. Our experience with immigration law has allowed us to help individuals enter the U.S., who otherwise would have not had the opportunity.

Getting started is easy. All you need to do is fill out our free eligibility online assessment form here and then one of our immigration professionals will get back to you with your results within one business day.