In order to immigrate to the United States, you must complete a medical examination. This is to determine that you are not carrying a contagious disease and that you are healthy enough to secure housing, work, and move forward with the immigration process. Medical examinations for new arrivals to the United States date back to the days of Angel and Ellis Islands. They tend to be fairly quick and straightforward, requiring a chest x-ray, a blood sample, and a short question and answer session with the doctor.
In order for your medical examination to be considered valid, it must be performed by a doctor who is designated by the US Department of State. If you complete your examination in your home country, this doctor is known as a “panel physician.” If you undergo your examination in the United States, the doctor must be designated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. This type of doctor is known as a “civil surgeon.” Your immigration attorney can help you find a panel physician or a civil surgeon to perform the medical examination that you need to immigrate to the United States.
How to Find a Civil Surgeon in Los Angeles
If you need to undergo an immigration medical exam in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California, search for civil surgeons in the region online. You can find comprehensive lists of civil surgeons in Los Angeles and other cities in California, such as the one provided by us-immigration.com.
When you find a doctor near you, contact his or her office to determine how much the examination will cost. You will need to pay for this exam, and its cost is determined by the doctor, rather than by the United States government.
What to Expect at your Medical Examination
It is normal to feel nervous or tense about your medical examination. Make it easier for yourself by becoming familiar with the process.
A lot of the examination is a review of your previous medical history. You will need to present the doctor with your medical record from your home country and discuss health issues you have faced in the past. He or she will also review any records you provide from a school, the police, your previous employer, or previous military service you performed. This is done to determine if you have suffered from a physical or mental disorder in the past that caused you to suffer a substantial departure from a normal state of well being or function.
The doctor may also ask you about your previous history of drug or alcohol use. He or she may also ask about any symptoms you have experienced that could point to cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, pulmonary or neuropsychiatric disorders.
During the physical portion of the exam, the doctor examines your extremities, ears, eyes, nose, throat, genitalia, heart, lungs, skin, abdomen, and lymph nodes. This portion also includes a chest x-ray and a blood sample. He or she then performs a mental health evaluation, during which he or she may assess your comprehension abilities, your thought patterns, your judgment abilities, and your intelligence.
You must show that you have received vaccinations for the following diseases or obtain them in order to be admissible to the United States:
- Haemophilus Influenzae, Type B;
- Hepatitis A;
- Hepatitis B;
- Meningococcal Varicella; and
- Pneumococcal Influenza
Depending on your age, though, you might not be required to have all of these vaccinations. Talk to your doctor about which vaccinations you are and are not required to have had.
Once the examination is complete, the doctor completes a copy of Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record. It is then sealed in an envelope which you must deliver to your local consulate or to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Do not open this envelope – doing so can invalidate the form inside.
Work with a Los Angeles Immigration Attorney
If you are considering immigrating to the United States, know that you will need to undergo a medical examination in order to do so. If you are found to be suffering from certain conditions, you may be deemed to be inadmissible to the United States. To learn more about what may render you inadmissible and what your legal options are if you are facing issues related to your medical examination, speak with an experienced immigration attorney. Contact The Law Offices of Joshua L. Goldstein to schedule your initial legal consultation with our firm today.