Medical Exams for the Green Card Process
In order to ensure that applicants for lawful permanent residence in the United States (green cards) do not have any communicable diseases that they will bring to the United States, every client applying for a green card is required to undergo a medical examination. This medical examination cannot be completed by your primary care physician. It can only be completed by a “civil surgeon,” a doctor approved by USCIS or the Department of State. Because certain vaccinations are required, it is important to have your childhood vaccination record with you. If you cannot prove that you have previously received the required vaccinations, you will have to get them again, and pay for them again. Some clients are opposed to obtaining the flu vaccine. If you are applying for your green card during flu season, you will be required to receive the flu vaccine. For those with strong opposition to the flu vaccine, it may be advisable to file your application when not in flu season.
Once the medical exam has been completed, the doctor should provide an applicant with the completed medical exam inside of a sealed envelope. It is important that this envelope remained unopened – the sealed envelope must be sent intact to USCIS along with the adjustment of status application. The doctor can also provide an applicant with an unsealed copy of the medical examination for his or her records.
The process and timeline for obtaining a medical exam varies depending on whether an applicant is applying for his green card inside or outside of the United States.
Applicants Applying for a Green Card Inside the United States
An applicant who is planning to attend his green card interview within the United States must complete the medical examination in the U.S. and the results of the medical exam need to be submitted in a sealed envelope from the Civil Surgeon simultaneously with the green card application. An applicant within the United States must seek out a USCIS-approved civil surgeon to complete his medical exam. USCIS provides a list of approved providers on their website: https://my.uscis.gov/findadoctor.
Applicants Outside of the United States
An applicant who will be attending his interview at a U.S. Consulate or U.S. Embassy abroad will need to complete the medical examination as instructed and not until instructed to do so. The medical exam is typically completed close to the date of the interview. Each consulate or embassy has their own slightly different instructions for completing the medical exam, which can be found on the Department of State’s website: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/list-of-posts.html.
If you have any questions about the medical examination process or the green card process, the experienced attorneys at Tanner Law Offices, LLC can help you. Please contact our office to schedule a consultation to discuss your specific case at (717) 731-8114.