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March 2, 2009: Medical Exam and Vaccination Requirements

Medical Exam And Vaccination Requirements

I am a Canadian citizen and just got married to an American. We are going through the immigration process. I need to get a medical exam. I would like to know the list of vaccinations they require. Thank you very much for your time.
— Anonymous

Generally and assuming you are adjusting your status in the United States and not consular processing, it is the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service’s (USCIS) requirement that all adjustment of status applications (Form I-485) be accompanied by a sealed medical examination that was conducted by a physician designated by the USCIS as a civil surgeon. The medical exam is performed in accordance with the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ regulations. According to Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, which is the form the civil surgeon uses to document the patient’s medical history for USCIS, the civil surgeon is required to test for communicable diseases of public health significance and to ensure that you have been vaccinated against a wide range of vaccine-preventable diseases.

As for the communicable diseases, “the civil surgeon is required to perform tests for tuberculosis (TB), syphilis, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. The medical exam also indicates an evaluation of other sexually transmitted diseases and Hansen’s disease (leprosy).” If the applicant tests positive for one of these communicable diseases, the civil surgeon will advise the applicant on how to obtain any necessary treatments. Furthermore, if the applicant tests positive, s/he may be deemed inadmissible under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA); thus not able to get a green card. However, if inadmissible, the applicant may be eligible for a waiver of inadmissibility; thus be able to get a green card. As for the vaccination requirement, the adjustment applicant should bring to the civil surgeon any and all documentation s/he may have regarding their vaccination history. The civil surgeon will review your vaccination record and evaluate what, if any, vaccinations are required “By law, the required vaccines include: mumps, measles, rubella, polio, tetanus and diphtheria toxoids, pertussis, influenza, hepatitis B, haemophilus influenzae type B, varicella, pneumococcal, rotavirus, hepatitis A, meningococcal, human papillomavirus, zoster, and any other vaccinations recommended by the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP).” If you have questions about the medical examination requirement, it would be wise for you to consult with an experienced immigration attorney.

Michael Shane and Evan Shane, Immigration Attorneys

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