Getting a Medical Exam Before Your Visa Interview

Yes, to get an immigrant visa you will need a medical exam

A medical exam is required for all immigrant visa applicants seeking a U.S. green card or lawful permanent resident status. There are no exceptions to this rule and, while most applicants have no issues, there are some helpful things to remember that make the process smoother and less stressful.

Remember that not just any doctor can conduct the required immigration medical exam.  It is must be an approved “panel physician” who has been designated by the U.S. government to do these types of exams. You or the applicant will need to confirm where the clinics are in your country and how to schedule the exam. This is very important, so do not wait to schedule the exam.


Why You Need a Medical Exam

Understanding why you need a medical exam goes a long way in helping you to prepare for it.

The purpose of the medical exam is to make sure that you don’t have any physical or mental issues that could pose harm to the American public. In other words, the U.S. government wants to make sure that you have no medical diseases or other health issues that could place Americans at risk.

So first, the doctor will make that you have all of your vaccines, including for the following diseases:   Mumps, Measles, Rubella, Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria toxoids, Pertussis, Influenza type B, and Hepatitis B.  These are all illnesses that can be prevented with a vaccine.

In addition to these, the doctor will want to know if you have demonstrated any harmful or violent behavior connected with a mental illness.

Note that the immigration medical exam is not a full physical examination. It is only meant to screen for the things that the immigration law requires.

What to Take to Your Medical Exam

You should take three things to the examination.

First, you must have your original passport.   This must be the same passport that you submitted to the NVC.

Second, you must take your consular interview appointment letter. The appointment letter would have been mailed or emailed to you and have the date, time and place of the appointment at the consulate.

Last, you should take your vaccination records. This may save you some money if it confirms that you have already been administered the required vaccines.

An important reminder: some medical clinics will not see you if the name on the appointment letter does not match your name on the passport.  It is important that you confirm these two items match. If they do not, and the clinic refuses to see you, then your immigrant visa case will be delayed.


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