INS Services

INS Services Specialist
The US Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS), requires a medical examination before you can become a permanent, legal resident of the United States. If you’re in the process of getting a green card or you have any questions about the medical exam, please contact Dr. Chrisette Dharma at Southwest Family Medicine Associates in Dallas. As a designated civil surgeon, she’s prepared to provide your immigration medical exam and to answer any questions you may have.

INS Services Q & A

Southwest Family Medicine Associates

Who needs an immigration medical exam?

Anyone who is not a US citizen and who wants to become a permanent legal resident must go through a process called “adjustment of status” — most people know it as getting a green card.

You can get a green card based on different qualification categories. Some examples of categories for applying for permanent residency are: having family members who are US citizens, having a job in the US, or being a refugee.

Everyone who wants to apply for a green card must have an immigration medical exam performed by a designated civil surgeon like Dr. Dharma at Southwest Family Medicine Associates.

Why are immigration medical exams required?

Immigration exams protect the health of everyone living in the US. It’s important to verify that you don’t have a contagious disease that could spread or a health problem that may pose a danger to others.

Health conditions that may interfere with getting a green card include:

  • Communicable disease that affects public health (tuberculosis and active syphilis)
  • Physical or mental disorder associated with harmful behavior
  • Drug abuse or addiction

If you’re worried about a health problem, please schedule time to meet with Dr. Dharma. Even if you have a condition that affects public health, you may qualify for a waiver so you can get a green card. Dr. Dharma can talk with you about how to obtain a waiver.

Do you need immunizations?

Yes, you must have all the required immunizations before you apply for permanent US residency. Bring any medical records you have to your appointment with Dr. Dharma, and she can review them to determine your immunization status.

If you don’t have a written record of past immunizations, or if they’re not up to date with US immunization requirements, she gives you the vaccinations you need for your green card application.

What should you expect during an immigration medical exam?

Dr. Dharma must fill out a specific medical form to go with your green card application. She gets that information for the form through the following:

  • Review of your medical history including:
    • Hospitalizations
    • Institutionalizations for chronic conditions
    • Illnesses
    • Disabilities
    • Psychoactive drug and alcohol use
    • Chest X-ray
    • Treatment records, if you ever had tuberculosis
  • Review of any existing medical records you have
  • Review of symptoms to determine the possible presence of health conditions
  • Complete physical exam including:
    • Diagnostic tests, if needed
    • Evaluation of mental status

Southwest Family Medicine Associates can answer your questions about immigration medical exams. Call the office or schedule an appointment online.

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