The United States government welcomes a variety of individuals into the U.S. for a number of different purposes, including work, school, asylum, and simply to become a U.S. citizen. However, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, is serious about making sure that immigration applicants fulfill certain requirements before they come to the U.S. or change their nonimmigration status. Besides checking personal information and character reports, USCIS also requires medical examinations.
USCIS must approve doctors in order to perform the exams necessary for immigrants and green card applicants. There are two groups of doctors who can give you these check-ups: civil surgeons and panel physicians. Civil surgeons are already in the U.S., and they help people who are trying to change their immigration status or applying for naturalization.
Panel physicians, on the other hand, are internationally located. Embassies and consulates appoint panel physicians to give medical exams to those who wish to come to the U.S. Additionally, the examinations performed by panel physicians are controlled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC.
If you are not yet in the U.S., you must first get an exam from a panel physician. A panel physician will give you a very thorough medical examination that includes:
- Medical history information
- Physical and mental testing
- Tuberculosis testing
- Testing for venereal disease
- Looking for Hansen’s disease
- Vaccination history
Civil surgeon exams occur when you change your immigration status. When you come to the United States, you have to apply for admission under a certain status. For instance, if you are solely coming as a student, you must get a student visa. However, when your visa is about to expire or if you are finished with school, you must get your immigration status changed in order to remain in the U.S. For example, if you want to get a job and work in the U.S., you must then get a business visa. When you apply to change your status, you must get a civil surgeon to give you a Medical examination. This includes:
- Physical exam
- Tuberculosis test
- Blood test to detect sexually transmitted diseases
- Any vaccinations you are missing
When you apply to come to the U.S. or change your status, it is important to make sure that all of your applications are correct and in the right order so that you do not have to wait extra time. If you need help dealing with USCIS, you should contact an Orange County immigration lawyer from Garg & Associates, P.C., today to discuss your case.