Sugarland Primary Care Physicians

Preparing for Your Immigration Physical

Sep 01, 2022
Preparing for Your Immigration Physical
If you’re looking to enter the US as an immigrant, there is some work to reach that goal. One important part of the process is getting a physical, and in getting prepared, you’ll need to know what to expect.

Immigration has always been part of the essential fabric of the US. As recently as 2019, American Immigration Council data shows that immigrants make up 14% of the population or nearly 45 million people. For the 42 million people still trying to immigrate here, according to Gallup, that process takes years and has many different steps.

An immigration physical is part of the process necessary to immigrate to America. To understand how it works, we explore this type of physical, what separates it from regular physicals, and what you should expect from the procedure. Residents of the Sugarland, Texas area looking to get an immigration physical or other medical needs can find help from Dr. Chinwe Okafor and the skilled medical team at Sugarland Primary Care.

What is an immigration physical?

Also known as the green card medical examination, this is part of the immigration process required for people seeking a green card. During this procedure, a government-authorized doctor performs a physical and mental evaluation, drug and alcohol screening, a review of your medical history, and various tests for diseases and disorders. 

This procedure ensures that anyone attempting to immigrate is admissible and doesn't pose any danger to the population through contagious disease or other conditions. If they do, they would be considered inadmissible.

What separates it from a regular physical?

While both regular and immigration examinations consist of many of the same types of testing, one of the primary differences is the focus on vaccinations. Prospective immigrants need to have multiple vaccinations, including the following:

  • Measles 
  • Mumps
  • Rubella 
  • Polio 
  • Tetanus 
  • Diphtheria
  • Pertussis 
  • Haemophilus influenza type B (or Hib)
  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Rotavirus 
  • Meningococcal disease
  • Varicella
  • Pneumococcal disease
  • COVID-19
  • Seasonal flu

Vaccines must be age-appropriate and protect from diseases that could lead to a possible outbreak.

Americans generally have many of the childhood vaccinations listed above as kids. If your home country doesn’t require these vaccinations, it’s imperative to get them to prevent complications with immigration and to ensure the safety of the American population.

What should you expect?

At our practice, our immigration physical process follows standard procedure by recording height and weight, checking blood pressure, heart, lungs, and abdominal or lymph node abnormalities, and inspecting the ear, nose, and throat. You will also undergo a series of screenings for infectious diseases and conditions like syphilis and tuberculosis. 

You are required to bring in your vaccinations to the exam, and if you haven’t covered all of the ones listed above, we can offer them during the procedure. Once the exam is complete and you’ve met the requirements, we fill out the I-693 (Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record) form and send it in with the rest of your immigration application.

The process can be nerve-wracking, but it’s designed to benefit your health. We work hard to make the process as calm and relaxing as possible to keep you at ease and help you on your road to immigration to the US. So, if you’re ready to get the physical exam done, make an appointment today with Dr. Okafor and Sugarland Primary Care.