Sugarland Primary Care Physicians

What to Expect During Your Immigration Physical

May 01, 2023
What to Expect During Your Immigration Physical
If you’re on the path to becoming a permanent resident in America, there are steps you have to take on the way. An immigration physical exam is an essential step on that path, and here’s what you can expect from it.

When it comes to looking for a country to gain new opportunities and helping to find a new life for you and your family, America is still a popular destination. Over 800,000 people a year apply for a green card (lawful permanent residence) with an approval rate of about 88%, meaning a lot of new faces will be staying here for the foreseeable future.

Migrating to the US is a process, which includes checking up on your health and having an immigration physical. To better understand, let’s explore the reasons for getting one, the vaccinations you need, and what the procedure looks like. 

Dr. Chinwe Okafor and her skilled medical team at Sugarland Primary Care Physicians can help if you live in the Sugarland, Texas area and need an immigration physical or other screenings.

Reasons for getting an immigration physical

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires this medical exam to ensure American public safety from diseases and conditions that can transmit to the population. The five primary health reasons for the physical are as follows:

  1. Diseases that affect public health: having infectious diseases (leprosy, tuberculosis, sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs) can affect your green card eligibility
  2. Drug and alcohol abuse: evidence of abuse of alcohol, illegal or prescription drugs can disqualify you from getting permanent residence in America
  3. Harmful behaviors associated with disorders: any physical or mental conditions that cause you to harm others around you can lead to green card denial
  4. Work inability: If you have health problems that prevent you from supporting yourself, such as fatal diseases, you may not be able to get a green card
  5. Proof of vaccination: If you cannot demonstrate you’ve obtained the vaccinations necessary for US entry, you may receive a denial of permanent residency

Vaccinations required for physical

Vaccinations required by both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and The Immigration and Nationality Act include:

  • Influenza and influenza type B (Hib)
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Pertussis
  • Polio
  • Rubella
  • Rotavirus
  • Meningococcal
  • Pneumococcal
  • Tetanus
  • Diphtheria
  • Varicella

The USCIS guidelines do change over time, so you need to stay updated on which necessary vaccinations are current.

Immigration physical procedure

Like annual health exams, this physical requires relevant medical history and vaccination results but can get accomplished in various ways. You can get this exam if you’re applying either inside or outside of the US, and if you’re doing it inside you can do it before or after starting the green card process. 

You need to bring records of the vaccines you’ve had, medical history, any medical imaging results like x-rays, a letter from your regular medical provider with treatment plan information, a government-issued photo ID, and a health insurance card if you have one.

The exam consists of tuberculosis screenings and a physical exam to test your eyes, nose, ears, throat, heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, abdomen, skin, lymph nodes, and external genitals. 

A mental examination can screen comprehension, judgment, mood, and behavior to assess any abnormalities or evidence of violent behavior. Administered blood and urine tests check for drug use or the presence of STDs or other conditions.

If you need to become a permanent resident in America, we can help you with the immigration exam. Make an appointment today with Dr. Okafor and Sugarland Primary Care Physicians to help get a green card and protect your health.