Questions & Answers About IMMIGRATION MEDICAL EXAMS
1. Question: Why do I need a medical exam?
Answer: A medical examination is necessary as part of your application for adjustment of status.
2. Question: Why are medical exams needed?
Answer: Medical examinations verify good health and admissibility to the United States on medical grounds. The exam can identify medical conditions that require follow-up medical care after emigration to the U.S. or adjustment of status to permanent residence.
3. Question: How to I arrange for a medical exam?
Answer: You need to make an appointment with a Civil Surgeon. A Civil Surgeon is a special doctor who has been designated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and approved to perform medical examinations in accordance with Federal Immigration law. There are many doctors who can perform medical exams, but a Civil Surgeon is the only type of doctor who can perform your medical exam for immigration.
4. Question: How do I find a Civil Surgeon?
Answer: You should have received a list of Civil Surgeons with this packet. The list is updated periodically, so be sure you have the most current updated list of Civil Surgeons. There are several doctors on the updated list, and any of them can perform your immigration medical exam. If you need assistance finding a Civil Surgeon, call ARA-Arizona Research Associates at 520-795-7724, or call the INS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283.
5. Question: Aren’t all Civil Surgeons the same? Does it matter which one I go to?
Answer: All Civil Surgeons are not the same. They are each different, with different strengths and capabilities, and each has something unique to offer. All of the Civil Surgeons will perform the physical exam, administer medical tests, and verify your vaccinations in order to complete Form I-693. You will be most satisfied if you select a Civil Surgeon who is available and responsive to your individual needs. All Civil Surgeons must meet certain minimum qualifications in order to be approved to perform immigration medical exams. Any one of the doctors on the updated list can perform your exam, however they will differ in their availability, training, price, and other factors.
6. Question: What are some other differences between Civil Surgeons?
Answer: Civil Surgeons come from a variety of medical backgrounds and areas of expertise. Some have wide experience as licensed physicians. Some are bilingual. A few have international experience and are knowledgeable about caring for patients from different countries. Additional language requirements may be necessary and must be accommodated. ARA-Arizona Research Associates performs immigration medical exams in several foreign languages, including English, Spanish, Russian, Polish, French, Hebrew, German, and Italian. For more information, or if you need a multi-lingual Civil Surgeon, call 520-795-7724.
7. Question: How do I decide which Civil Surgeon to call?
Answer: There are many factors to consider. You’ll make the best decision if you have complete information. We recommend calling several Civil Surgeons to compare services. You should ask about prices, appointment times, if additional visits are required, and whether you will need to go to another doctor’s office or lab for your blood tests. In some instances, a medical exam must be scheduled immediately. If you are told that the earliest appointment is several weeks or months away, you should call another Civil Surgeon on the list who can see you sooner. Your Civil Surgeon should be responsive and able to accommodate your request. Because your needs are unique, the best doctor for someone else may not be the best choice for you. You will be happier and more comfortable throughout the process if you are well informed.
8. Question: How much does the medical exam cost?
Answer: Each Civil Surgeon establishes his/her own price and these may vary significantly. To compare prices, you can call each doctor on the list and ask for a cost breakdown. It is important to know what IS and is NOT included in the price. Some doctors include lab tests with the exam. Others charge separately for lab tests, vaccinations, and other services. Some provide options for how and where your lab tests are performed, allowing you to choose how much you want to spend on individual tests.
9. Question: How long will I have to wait for an appointment?
Answer: That depends on which Civil Surgeon you call. Some doctors can see you immediately. Others are busier, and you may have to wait several weeks or even months for an appointment. In general, new Civil Surgeons added to the list may be able to see you more quickly. To find the soonest appointment, call all the doctors and ask for the earliest date available for an exam. You may want to ask if additional appointments are needed, and if you need to make separate trips for tests. By calling several Civil Surgeons, you’ll increase your odds of having your exam completed quickly. You should be able to schedule your exam at a time that is convenient for you, with as little delay as possible.
10. Question: What happens during the medical exam?
Answer: You will be asked questions about your medical history, and you will complete a questionnaire. All applicants are required to have a physical examination (to include complete disrobing), and a mental status evaluation. There are also medical tests to detect certain diseases. Your immunization records will be reviewed to determine if you need any vaccinations. If you have concerns about the exam, you should discuss these concerns with the Civil Surgeon. Call 520-795-7724 to speak with a Civil Surgeon or one of our physicians.
11. Question: What tests are done during the exam?
Answer: All applicants two years of age and older are required to have a tuberculin skin test (TST). All applicants 15 years of age and older must have blood tests for HIV and for syphilis. Additional tests may be performed if they are determined to be necessary.
12. Question: What vaccinations do I need?
Answer: Most applicants must show that they are current with all vaccinations recommended by U.S. public health officials. You must be vaccinated for Mumps, Measles, Rubella, Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria toxoids, Pertussis, Influenza type B, and Hepatitis B. Additional vaccinations may be required. Call Pima County Health Dept., Immunizations Information Line at 520-724-9650 for more information. Important: Do not try to fulfill your vaccination requirements before you meet with the Civil Surgeon, in case it is not medically appropriate for you to have one or more of the required vaccines.
13. Question: Do I need to bring anything with me to my appointment?
Answer: Yes. You need to bring your passport or other government-issued photo identification, and any written documentation of your vaccination history. Also, remember to bring your Form I-693 for the Civil Surgeon to complete. Call your Civil Surgeon or call 520-795-7724 for more information.
14. How can I get more information?
Answer: Call ARA-Arizona Research Associates at 520-795-7724 or call the INS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283.