The United States Immigration Medical Exam is a mandatory medical exam required for green card applicants or for those seeking to adjust their status to permanent residence in the United States, including those applying for the ‘asylum. It is also required for some nonimmigrant visas. In the United States, it is conducted by a USCIS-approved civilian surgeon while outside the United States, a USCIS panel physician conducts it.
What does he understand?
It includes a list of tests, including a tuberculin skin test or an IGRA test to detect tuberculosis. If the initial screening tests for tuberculosis are positive, the candidate should have a chest x-ray. Pregnant women can refuse the x-ray if they do not wish to have it provided they present a pregnancy certificate signed by their doctor or obstetrician.
The TB tests are followed by a bodily exam of the ears, eyes, throat, nose, lymph nodes, lungs, heart, and the external genital area. These tests are performed to determine the presence of other communicable diseases, which sometimes the applicant himself may not be aware of.
Later, the applicant is tested for drug addiction and a mental assessment is performed based on medical history. Finally, a set of vaccines is administered. These vaccines are mandatory, in accordance with Immigration and Nationality Law and as required by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Immigration doctors perform this step with precision based on technical instructions established by the CDC.
Why is it being conducted?
The immigration medical examination is carried out to ensure that the immigrant is not inadmissible for reasons of public health and safety. It is important that the immigrant does not bring diseases that have been eradicated in the United States or those that are being eradicated or those that could eventually cause an epidemic.
The CDC is implementing a list of ineligible health conditions that should be vaccinated, as suggested by the Advisory Community on Immunization Practices (ACIP), in accordance with the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act. These are checked and vaccinated during medical immigration.
Vaccination against vaccine-preventable diseases includes at least the following diseases: mumps toxoids, measles, rubella, polio, tetanus and diphtheria, pertussis, influenza type B and hepatitis B.
Recent outbreaks in the United States
After outbreaks of tuberculosis in Los Angeles, South Carolina, and more recently in Wisconsin, a new type of tuberculosis, multi-resistant, has been detected. This type of tuberculosis cannot be easily cured with regular anti-tuberculosis drugs, and its treatment costs thousands of dollars per patient. In addition, tuberculosis itself is a highly contagious disease. It takes at least a year of treatment to make a full recovery. About half of the country’s total tuberculosis cases affect people in Florida, Texas, California, and New York, all places with high immigrant populations. Tuberculosis is transmitted through the air, so it cannot be completely eradicated. However, state and local health departments, health officials, nurses, and physicians, especially USCIS immigration physicians, are urged to exercise caution when dealing with people. from immigrant communities. Early detection can help control the spread of the disease. This is one of the main reasons why TB control is the first thing to do during the immigration medical examination.
Among the diseases to be vaccinated, there is whooping cough or whooping cough. This is also very contagious and mainly affects children under the age of 10. It is caused by a bacteria called Bordetella pertussis.
According to CDC reports, since the year 1959, 2012 has had the maximum number of pertussis cases nearly 18,000 during the first half of the year. To control this epidemic in the country, it is mandatory to administer the pertussis vaccine during the immigration medical examination, in particular, to children under 10 years old.