If you want to become a permanent resident in the United States, you must complete the green card application process. One of the tasks required to apply is the green card medical exam, also known as the immigration medical examination.

Who performs a green card medical exam?

Only physicians designated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can perform a green card medical exam. These physicians are referred to as immigration doctors or civil surgeons. To qualify as a civil surgeon, physicians must be licensed and have at least four years of professional experience.

What is the purpose of the green card medical exam?

The medical exam aims to determine whether an applicant is healthy enough to qualify for a green card. During the green card medical exam, the civil surgeon will assess if the applicant has a medical condition that prevents them from being admitted into the U.S. These conditions include:1

  • Communicable diseases of public health significance
  • Failure to show proof of vaccinations
  • Physical or mental disorders associated with harmful behavior
  • Drug abuse or addiction

What can I expect in a green card medical exam?

In trying to assess if you have a medical condition that may make you inadmissible for a green card, the civil surgeon will review your medical and vaccination records and perform a physical exam. Here’s what you can expect during the exam:2

  • Review of medical history. This includes a review of past hospitalizations, institutionalizations for chronic physical and mental conditions, questions about drug and alcohol use, history of psychiatric illness, and a review of chest x-rays if the applicant has a history that suggests tuberculosis.
  • Review of other relevant records. The physician might also review other available records, such as police, military, school, or employment records. The purpose is to determine if there is a history of harmful behaviors related to a physical or mental disorder.
  • Physical examination. This includes a mental status exam and a physical exam of the eyes, ears, nose, throat, extremities, lungs, heart, abdomen, lymph nodes, and skin. The physician will also run diagnostic tests to identify communicable diseases and any other tests required to rule out relevant conditions.

At the end of the exam, the physician will fill out the medical report form (Form I-693). This report includes the findings of the medical exam and the results of required tests, including tuberculosis and syphilis. The physician will sign and seal the form and any supporting documentation in an envelope. You must ensure the document remains sealed and submit it to the USCIS.

How to prepare for a green card medical exam

In preparation for a green card medical exam, start by selecting an immigration doctor to perform the exam. You will need to locate an immigration doctor near you and schedule an exam. Be sure to start collecting all your medical and vaccination histories so they are ready to share when you go to your exam.


  1. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Chapter 1 – Purpose and Background. Accessed April 26, 2023.
  2. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Medical History and Examination. Accessed April 26, 2023.

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