Even before the pandemic, Immigration authorities have always taken great care to protect public health and prevent the proliferation of diseases. After the pandemic, this level of care only proved that they were doing the right thing. The process of becoming a legal permanent resident in the United States can be somewhat complicated and even time-consuming, but it's always about everyone's well-being and safety.
With that in mind, we will discuss a very specific subject: What exams and vaccinations are required for a permanent resident?
One of the many steps and forms that are required throughout the permanent residence application process is the completion of Form I-693, the Medical Examination Report and Vaccination Record. It contains a number of exams and vaccinations that you must complete before you can get your green card. This exam is performed by doctors who have been authorized by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Doctors or “civil surgeons” who perform the exam, have to fill out the Form I-693 and follow these steps:
Assessment of your medical history, which includes reviewing old tests or reports of any illnesses or surgeries you have had before.
Physical examination, to find out your weight, height, blood pressure, etc.
Evaluation of your mental health, which includes going through any prior addictions or drug abuse.
Testing for tuberculosis and syphilis.
Analysis of your vaccination history and request for vaccinations if necessary.
As for vaccinations, according to U.S. immigration law and the requirements set forth by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the following vaccinations are required for all permanent residents:
Mumps / Measles / Rubella (German measles) (also known as MMR)
Tetanus, diphtheria toxoid, and pertussis (also known as Tdap)
And any other vaccine-preventable disease is recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
The civil surgeon will review your immunization records at the time of your medical examination for immigration to see if you have evidence of required vaccinations that are appropriate for your age, or your needs at the time, such as pregnancy. It is important that you take all written documentation of vaccinations you have to the medical examination.
Another important thing to remember is that you are responsible for paying the applicable fee for all immunizations and examinations. So, a tip: research different doctors and get quotes to find out which one best fits your financial situation. Because even if you have health insurance, many of these doctors will not accept it or cover it in its entirety.
If you are in the United States, you may search for authorized civil surgeons through this website: https://www.uscis.gov/tools/find-a-civil-surgeon.
If you are outside of the United States, contact one of our attorneys to find out who is authorized to perform this exam in your country of residence.
If you have any more questions about this medical exam and if you would like to discuss when to schedule your appointment for a medical exam, please contact one of our attorneys to make sure you are ready for this important step.