Immigrating to a new country is an exciting yet complex journey, involving numerous steps to ensure you meet all legal and health requirements. One critical step in this process is undergoing an immigration physical.

CNOS of Dakota Dunes understands that our Siouxland friends and neighbors come from all walks of life. For those who have immigrated here, CNOS is here to help navigate the health process.

Whether you’re applying for a green card in the United States or moving to another country, understanding what to expect can help you navigate this crucial part of your immigration journey smoothly.

In this blog, CNOS will explore the process of getting an immigration physical, the necessary documents, what to expect from the provider, and where to get an immigration physical.

What is an Immigration Physical?

An immigration physical, also known as an immigration medical exam, is a mandatory health assessment required by immigration authorities to ensure that applicants do not have any health conditions that could pose a public health risk or make them inadmissible on health-related grounds.

Necessary Documents for an Immigration Physical

Before heading to your immigration physical, it’s essential to gather the required documents to avoid any delays. Typically, you will need:

  1. Government-issued identification: This could be your passport, driver’s license, or any other official ID.
  2. Vaccination records: A comprehensive history of all your vaccinations. If you don’t have these records, the provider may administer missing vaccines during the exam.
  3. Form I-693: For those applying for a U.S. green card, this is the Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record. Ensure you fill out the applicant section but leave the rest for the provider.
  4. Previous medical records: If you have any significant health conditions, surgeries, or ongoing treatments, bring these records to give the provider with a complete picture of your health.

CNOS is here to help navigate the journey. If you have any questions regarding your documents and forms OR your appointment, please contact us.

What to Expect from the Provider

The immigration physical is a thorough examination that includes various health assessments. Here’s a step-by-step look at what typically happens during the appointment:

  1. Medical History Review: The provider will review your medical history, including past illnesses, surgeries, and any chronic conditions. Be prepared to discuss your medical background in detail.
  2. Physical Examination: This will include checking your vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, temperature), listening to your heart and lungs, and a general physical inspection to assess your overall health.
  3. Vaccination Verification: The provider will review your vaccination records to ensure you have all required vaccinations. If any are missing, they will be administered during the exam.
  4. Tuberculosis Test: You will likely undergo a TB test, which may involve a skin test (PPD) or a blood test. If the skin test is used, you will need to return to the provider within 48-72 hours for the results.
  5. Blood Tests: Depending on the country’s requirements, you may also need blood tests to check for communicable diseases such as syphilis.
  6. Mental Health Evaluation: A basic mental health screening may be conducted to rule out any conditions that could pose a risk to public safety.

How Long Does the Appointment Typically Take?

An immigration physical usually takes about 1-2 hours, depending on the complexity of your medical history and the specific tests required. If follow-up appointments are necessary, such as for TB test results or additional vaccinations, the overall process might extend over a few days.

Where to Get an Immigration Physical

Finding the right place to get your immigration physical is crucial. In the United States, the exam must be conducted by a provider authorized by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), known as a civil surgeon. When choosing where to get an immigration physical, consider the following:

  • Proximity: Choose a location that is convenient for follow-up visits.
  • Availability: Ensure the provider can schedule your appointment within your immigration timeline.
  • Reputation: Look for reviews or recommendations to find a reliable and thorough provider.

Our experienced occupational medicine team performs immigration physicals at our Dakota Dunes Clinic location on 575 Sioux Point Road, administered by Dr. Douglas Martin and Sarah Pluger, PA-C.

Getting an immigration physical is a vital step in the immigration process, ensuring that all health requirements are met. By understanding the necessary documents, knowing what to expect during the exam, and choosing the right location for your immigration physical, you can navigate this process with confidence. Remember, thorough preparation and selecting an authorized and reputable provider are key to a smooth and successful immigration physical experience.

Please reach out to CNOS if you have questions/concerns or need to schedule an appointment.