Medical Examination for Immigration and Terms of Admissibility

Immigration laws require a physical medical exam for all immigration visas and also some non-immigrant visas. Refugees and applicants for change of status must also take the immigration medical exam. The primary reason for providing the physical exam is to rule out any health issues that may prevent the applicant from immigrating.

What could prevent an applicant from being admitted?

Government-approved civil surgeons are specially qualified to provide the examination within the country. Immigration panel physician can provide the exam outside of the country.

According to the CDC, they classify all medical conditions into Class A and B. If the applicant’s medical conditions fall under Class A, they will not be allowed in the country. The following are medical conditions that would render the applicant inadmissible:

Those suffering from a transmittable illness that might endanger public health, such as:

  • Chancroid
  • Gonorrhea
  • Infectious leprosy, syphilis, tuberculosis (Class A TB).

And any other infectious disease of public concern.

What are the inadmissible health-related problems?

When the applicant has set up an appointment with the civil surgeon designated by the USCIS, they will ask the applicant if they have any symptoms that may indicate the following.

  • Respiratory.
  • Cardiovascular.
  • Musculoskeletal.
  • Neuropsychiatric.

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the CDC implements a list of objectionable health-related problems that should be vaccinated for, as the Advisory Community on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended. Throughout the immigration medical, these are looked for and vaccinated for.

Vaccination against vaccine-preventable diseases includes.

  • Mumps.
  • Measles.
  • Rubella.
  • Polio.
  • Pertussis.
  • Hepatitis B.
  • Influenza type B.
  • Tetanus and Diphtheria toxoids.

Flu, like Pertussis, is a very common illness. Although the seasonal flu appears harmless and benign, it hospitalizes and probably kills people in the United States yearly. It is difficult to approximate the exact number of deaths caused by influenza.

They recommend vaccinations for Pertussis, also referred to as Whooping Cough. It is very infectious and primarily impacts children under the age of 10. The bacteria Bordetella pertussis causes it.

The civil surgeon will also observe other symptoms to diagnose whether or not the applicant is infected with any of the illnesses. The civil surgeon will look for any infections that could prevent the person from being admitted.

If you have questions about the process when planning your visit to medical clinics, you can click here for more info.

What should applicants do after the immigration medical exam?

After the medical examination, the civil surgeon should hand the duly finished form in a sealed envelope for submission to the embassy and consulate. Suppose the form is not in a sealed envelope or has been opened or tampered with. In that case, the applicant must not accept it from the civil surgeon, as the consular office will return the form to the applicant.

Some clinics electronically transmit the medical for immigration results, so you won’t have to worry about your form being tampered with or opened.


An applicant’s family doctor can not examine unless the government has approved the doctor. You must remember that an embassy-approved doctor can only perform a physical examination. The applicant should pay a fee to the doctor, and the government has no control over how much you must pay the Civil Doctor. This has been left up to each doctor to choose.