Why do I need Medical Examination in U.S. to Get Green Card?

Medical examination and vaccination requirements vary depending on the immigration benefit the person is seeking.

Most applicants subject to medical grounds of inadmissibility must undergo a medical examination to determine their admissibility. Some applicants, however, do not need to undergo a medical examination unless there is a specific concern. Nonimmigrants, for example, are in this category.

Even if the applicant is not subject to health-related grounds of inadmissibility, the officer may still order a medical examination as a matter of discretion if the evidence indicates that there may be a public health concern.  This could apply, for example, when an officer adjudicates a request for parole.

In general, an immigration officer may order a medical examination of an applicant at any time, if the officer is concerned that the applicant may be medically inadmissible.  This rule applies regardless of the type of immigration benefit sought, or whether the applicant is applying for a visa, seeking entry at a U.S. port-of-entry, or already in the United States.

A civil surgeon in the United States can only perform a medical examination for purposes of a benefits application processed within the United States. Similarly, a panel physician abroad can generally only perform a medical examination for purposes of a visa application processed outside the United States. There are limited exceptions where an applicant seeking a benefit application inside the United States does not have to repeat a medical examination performed by a panel physician. The following chart highlights the benefits that require a medical examination and vaccinations, and whether a civil surgeon or panel physician should conduct the medical examination.

Medical Examination and Vaccination Requirements by Benefit Type
Benefit Type Medical Examination

(Yes or No)

Vaccination

(Yes or No)

Panel Physician or ​Civil Surgeon
Immigrant visa applicants, applying with U.S. Department of State (DOS) Yes Yes Panel physician
Adjustment applicants Yes Yes Civil surgeon
Nonimmigrant visa applicants, applying with DOS; and nonimmigrants seeking change/extension of status while in the United States No (with some exceptions) No N/A
Temporary Protected Status (TPS) applicants No (with some exceptions) No N/A
K or V visa applicants, applying with DOS Yes No Panel physician
Nonimmigrant seeking change of status to V status Yes No Civil surgeon
K or V nonimmigrants applying for adjustment of status in the United States May be required Yes Panel physician and/or civil surgeon
Refugee applicants, including principal and derivative applicants overseas Yes No Panel physician
Applicants seeking derivative refugee or derivative asylee status while in the United States No No N/A
Principal asylum applicants in the United States No No N/A
Applicants seeking derivative asylee status with DOS Yes No Panel physician
Refugee-based adjustment applicants May be required Yes Civil surgeon
Asylees applying for adjustment of status May be required Yes Civil surgeon
Kurdish asylees paroled under Operation Pacific Haven applying for adjustment of status Yes Yes Panel physician or civil surgeon
Registry applicants No No N/A
North American Indians entering the United States No No N/A
Children of returning residents entering the United States or children of U.S. nationals No No N/A
Internationally adopted orphans Yes Yes

(exception available)

Panel physician