Conditions of Admissibility and Immigration Medical Examination

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

What could prevent an applicant from being admitted?

Government-approved civil surgeons are specially qualified to administer the examination within the country. You’ll need to find a panel physician who can administer the exam outside 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 infectious diseases that could 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?

Once the applicant has scheduled an appointment with the civil surgeon appointed by the USCIS, they will ask the applicant if they have any symptoms that might indicate the following:

  • Respiratory 
  • Cardiovascular
  • Musculoskeletal 
  • Neuropsychiatric

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

Vaccination against vaccine-preventable diseases includes:

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

Influenza, 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 hard to judge the exact number of deaths caused by influenza. 

They recommend vaccinations for Pertussis, also known as Whooping Cough. It is highly contagious and primarily affects children under the age of ten. 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 diseases. The civil surgeon will look for any infections that could prevent the person from being admitted.

You can learn more here if you have questions about the process when planning your visit to medical clinics.

What should applicants do after the immigration medical exam?

After the medical examination, the civil surgeon must hand the duly completed 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 should not accept it from the civil surgeon, as the embassy will return the form to the applicant.

Some clinics like GTA Immigration Medical electronically transmit the results to immigration, so you won’t have to be concerned about altering or opening your form.


An applicant’s family doctor cannot administer the exam unless the government has approved the doctor. You should note that an embassy-approved doctor can only perform the physical examination. The applicant must pay a fee to the doctor, and the government has no control over how much you must pay the civil surgeon. This has been left up to each doctor to decide.

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