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What's Involved with an Immigration Physical?

What's Involved with an Immigration Physical?

An immigration physical is a necessary part of immigrating to the United States. Because this physical is needed in order to become a green card holder (permanent resident), this physical is often called a green card medical exam.

If you or a family member are awaiting an immigration physical, you might wonder what to expect. Dr. Ines Munoz De Laborde and Dr. Sveltlana Burkhead here at Physicians Medical Urgent Care are happy to offer immigration physicals. 

Below, we shed light on what’s involved with an immigration physical so you can feel more prepared for your exam.

Preparing for your immigration physical

Immigration physicals are required by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to ensure public safety and to remove any grounds for your inadmissibility. Per the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) guidelines, the following four conditions can mark you as inadmissible: 

  1. Failure to provide proof of vaccinations
  2. A communicable disease that poses a threat to public health 
  3. A mental disorder linked to harmful behavior
  4. Drug abuse and/or addiction

Before you arrive for your immigration physical, it’s important to gather necessary paperwork, which makes the entire physical process as smooth as possible.

You’ll need to bring:

If you’re not sure if you have the appropriate paperwork, don’t hesitate to call Physicians Medical Urgent Care prior to your physical.

What to expect during your immigration physical

During an immigration physical, you can expect a physical exam, a review of your medical history (including vaccine history), and a few tests.

Physical exam

During your exam, your doctor examines your eyes, ears, nose, throat, lymph nodes, skin, and extremities. Your provider also listens to your heart and lungs and palpitates your abdomen. 

In addition to the physical exam, be prepared to answer general questions about your health and wellness. 


Immigration physicals may include blood tests (a complete blood count) and chest x-rays. For individuals aged 15 and up, you will need a blood test to check for syphilis and a urine test to check for gonorrhea.

Review of your medical history

Your past medical history includes surgical history, past illnesses, any medications you currently take, and any chronic conditions you have. This includes both physical and mental medical history. You will also answer drug and substance abuse screening questions. 

Review your vaccination record

All immigrants who are seeking permanent resident status must undergo testing for vaccine-preventable diseases, including mumps, measles, rubella, polio, tetanus, hepatitis A and B, varicella, and meningococcal disease.

What happens after your immigration physical?

After your exam, you may be asked to sign a few forms. Once the paperwork is completed and signed, your medical records and your Form I-693 will be sealed in an envelope. Don’t break the seal, or the USCIS may not accept it. 

Depending on the requirements of your home country, you may bring the envelope to your green card interview, or it may be sent directly to your U.S. Embassy or consulate. 

If you need to book an immigration physical, call our office at 408-207-4637 or simply book your appointment online

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