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I-485 Adjustment Of Status Medical Exam Requirements

Medical_Exam.jpgThe I-485 immigration medical exam is used to determine the physical and mental health of the applicant. Most I-485 (adjustment of status) and I-539 (V non-immigrant status) applicants must complete the medical exam.

A USCIS designated civil surgeon must conduct the medical exam. The results are then recorded on an I-693 form. Depending on the results of the medical exam, further action may be required of the applicant. The results of the medical exam are valid for 1 year for I-485 applicants, and will remain valid for as long as the application is in a pending status.

Who must comply with the medical exam?

  • Adjustment of Status Applicants – Those applying for adjustment of status (I-485) must complete the medical exam and comply with vaccination requirements (below.)
  • K and V Visa Applicants – K and V visa applicants, including V visa applicants living in the U.S., must complete the medical exam. The applicant must comply with the vaccination portion only once the applicant applies for a change of status (I-485)
  • Asylees – Those applying for asylum while living in the U.S. do not have to complete the medical exam until they apply for adjustment of status. At that point they must complete the medical exam and comply with vaccination requirements.
  • Refugee visa applicants – Those who live outside of the U.S. must undergo the medical exam, but the vaccination is not required at this time.)
  • Adjustment of Status Applicants – Those applying for adjustment of status (I-485) must complete the medical exam and comply with vaccination requirements (below.)
  • Adjustment of Status Applicants – Those applying for adjustment of status (I-485) must complete the medical exam and comply with vaccination requirements (below.)

Medical Exam Components:

Note: When preparing for your exam be sure to take your passport, other forms of government issued ID, and vaccination records. Applicants under 14 must take documentation such as official birth certificates, which show name, date of birth, place of birth, and parents’ full names.

There are several aspects to the medical exam including:

  • Physical – The physical exam checks vitals such as blood pressure, eyes, ears, and reflexes. The physical may include an examination of the genital area.
  • Tuberculin Skin Test – Applicants 2 years of age and older undergo a Tuberculin Skin Test (TST.) After a 2-3 day wait the applicant must return to the medical center to get results from the test. Those found not to be reactive have no further duty. Those who show a reaction of 5mm or more to the test may have to undergo additional tests including a chest X-ray. If the applicant is found to have tuberculosis they must undergo a full treatment regimen before being allowed to immigrate to the U.S.
  • Serologic Test (Blood Test) – A blood test is given to check for Syphilis.
    Note: HIV is no longer an inadmissible disease.

Medical Ground of Inadmissibility

The following medical conditions may cause the applicant to be inadmissible to the United States on medical grounds:

  • Communicable Diseases of Public Health Significance
    • Tuberculosis
    • Leprosy
    • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
    • Syphilis
    • Cancroids
    • Gonorrhea
    • Chlamydia
    • Donovanosis

    Most of these illnesses may be easily treatable.

  • Lack of having required vaccinations:
    Immigrants must show that they have been vaccinated against:

    • Mumps
    • Measles
    • Rubella
    • Polio
    • Tetanus and diphtheria toxoids
    • Meningococcal
    • Human papillomavirus
    • Influenza type B
    • Hepatitis Type A
    • Hepatitis Type B
    • Rotavirus
    • Any additional vaccinations recommended by Advisory Commission for Immunization Practices

    Those who cannot show proof of such vaccinations may be ruled inadmissible.

  • Physical or mental disorders which cause harmful behavior
  • It is up to the determination of the civil surgeon as to whether or not a given disorder is considered harmful, and its likelihood of recurrence. Most kinds of mental disorders may be considered to be in remission if symptoms have not occurred for over 2 years. However, the threshold is 5 years for the following:

  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Impulse control disorders
  • Paraphilia
  • Conduct disorders
  • Drug Abuse
    Drug abusers and addicts are inadmissible. The term “addict” for this purpose refers to one who “has a physical or psychological dependence on a non-medical substance which is listed in section 202 of the Controlled Substances Act.” The civil surgeon and panel physicians will review the applicant’s medical history and determine if there are any signs that the applicant has abused drugs in the past. Additional medical tests may be required to help determine if the applicant has a history of drug abuse. Those who are found to be abusers of drugs may have their visa application denied on those grounds. But, those who are found to have “experimented” with drugs will not be denied for that reason.

    Note: Alcohol abuse is not a factor which would render an applicant inadmissible. However, it could be a factor in the psychological exam.