Once the National Visa Center (NVC) reviews your documents and your case is documentarily qualified, your immigration visa case is then forwarded to your local US Consulate or US Embassy for your immigrant visa interview. Prior to your immigrant visa interview, a medical exam must be completed with an embassy-approved doctor, also referred to as the Panel Physician. Exams conducted by other physicians will not be accepted. We explain how to prepare for your immigrant visa medical exam below.
Who is required to complete a medical examination?
The principal applicant and each qualifying family member applying for an immigrant visa with you are required to schedule a medical appointment with an authorized physician in the country where you will be interviewed.
When is the medical examination done?
The medical examination can only be scheduled after you have been notified by the US Consulate or US Embassy of your immigrant visa interview date and time. The medical examination, along with any required vaccinations, must be done PRIOR to your scheduled immigrant visa interview date.
What happens during the immigrant visa medical exam?
You will need a valid passport (or other photo identification) and an appointment letter to the doctor during the medical examination. The medical examination will include:
- a complete medical history review,
- physical examination,
- chest X-ray, and
- blood tests for syphilis.
The physical examination will at least include an examination of the eyes, ears, nose, throat, extremities, heart, lungs, abdomen, lymph nodes, and skin.
What does the panel physician do with the exam results?
The Panel Physician will either send the exam results directly to the embassy or give you a sealed envelope. If the doctor gives you the exam results in an envelope, DO NOT OPEN IT. Bring the sealed unopened exam results to your visa interview and give them to the consular officer.
Who is required to have chest x-rays or blood tests?
Chest X-rays and blood tests are not usually required for children under the age of fifteen.
What if I have a positive tuberculosis skin test?
If you had a previous positive skin test for tuberculosis should provide a certificate from the attending doctor (giving the circumstances of the positive test result, and indicating any treatment prescribed, and its duration) to the panel physician. If you have ever been diagnosed with tuberculosis, you must present a written certification, signed by the attending doctor, proving that the applicant was adequately treated. The certificate must include dates and types of medications taken. If you have ever had an abnormal chest X-ray, you should borrow the last X-ray films taken and bring them to the panel physician. The actual films, not the typed reports, may be required to compare with the X-rays that will be taken at the medical examination.
What if I had syphilis?
If you have had syphilis must present the panel doctor with a written certificate, signed by a doctor or public health official, proving that you were adequately treated. If you ever had a positive VDRL or other blood tests for syphilis and were not treated you must give a written explanation signed by your doctor to the panel physician.
What if I am pregnant, do I need a chest x-ray?
If you are pregnant and required to have a medical examination in connection with the issuance of a visa and are examined in a country currently using the 2007 TB Technical Instructions, you must have a chest x-ray examination conducted. You will have to provide the panel physician with consent to conduct the chest x-ray. For your health and your unborn child, CDC instructs panel physicians and laboratories to provide abdominal and pelvic protection with double layer, wrap-around lead shields when they receive the chest radiographs.
What if I have been treated or hospitalized for psychiatric or mental illness, or alcohol or drug abuse?
If you have been treated or hospitalized for psychiatric or mental illness or alcohol or drug abuse, you must present written certification including the diagnosis, duration of treatment rendered, and prognosis.
What if I have been treated for a chronic medical condition or am taking medication on a regular basis?
If you are being treated for chronic medical conditions, or those taking medications on a regular basis, you should be familiar with the medical conditions being treated, and the names of the medications you are taking. If you are unsure of your diagnosis, you must present a certificate describing the condition(s), the current treatment, and the prognosis with a list of prescribed medications.
What vaccinations are required?
The following vaccinations are required for immigration purposes:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Influenza type b (Hib)
- Tetanus and diphtheria toxoids
What if I do not have a record of my vaccination record?
The panel physician will work with the applicant to determine which vaccinations the applicant may need to meet vaccination requirements.
My immigrant visa appointment has been scheduled, now what?
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