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Green Card Applications and Medical Exams

September 28, 2015 | Posted In Immigration - Immigration

When you apply for a green card, you are required to undergo a green card medical exam as part of the approval process. Whether your application is tied to a family member, job, request for asylum, visa lottery or any other applicable situation, the medical exam is a critical part of the process that, if left incomplete, may delay your application indefinitely.

The medical exam requirement ensures that any applicant seeking to live in the U.S. on a permanent basis is healthy and does not pose a health risk to the rest of the country’s population.

Pre-Exam Preparations

Before you get your medical exam, you are encouraged to work with an attorney to ensure you have the right paperwork with you and that your doctor can fill it out properly to be submitted with your application. Completing the Form I-693 is an important part of the process -- this is the green card medical exam portion of your paperwork and it should be filled out carefully and accurately. You can fill out your personal information on your own or with the help of an attorney, and your doctor will fill out the medical exam portion.

When you make your appointment for the exam, you can’t simply visit your family doctor or primary care physician. The United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) has pre-approved doctors known as “designated civil surgeons” who are able to fill out the I-693 and perform the exam. You can find an approved surgeon by calling the USCIS National Customer Service Center at 800-375-5283 or by visiting your local USCIS office.

Going to the Exam

When you go to your appointment, your attorney may advise you to take your I-693 form, along with a list of all vaccines you have had, chronic medical conditions you have and any medications you are taking. Additionally, if you have a history of mental illness or drug abuse, you may need to obtain a written certification from a doctor that includes your diagnosis, treatment specifics and an evaluation of your current status.

If you have ever tested positive for certain conditions, such as syphilis or tuberculosis, you might also need to obtain written certificates from your doctor that detail what you had or have, how you have been treated and what your health status is now. You may want to include any abnormal chest X-rays as well.

At the exam, the doctor will review your medical history, perform a physical examination and take chest x-rays and a blood test (however, children under the age of 15 are typically only subjected to an examination). Pregnant woman may ask for the x-ray to be delayed.

If you are missing any vaccines, the doctor will provide them. He or she will then complete the I-693 and a sealed Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record. You will then either take those forms to your visa interview or send them to the U.S. embassy.

At Helmer, Conley, and Kasselman, PA, we help anyone who is going through the process of obtaining a green card. For more information on this process and the requirements of the medical exam, contact a New Jersey green card lawyer at HCK today.

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