How to Prepare for Your Immigration Physical


Along with the excitement of learning about a new culture, finding work, and getting housing, immigrating to the United States as either a new citizen or with a visa also involves completing your entry medical exam, or immigration physical.

At Prima Medicine in Fairfax and South Riding, Virginia, our providers can help make the process easier. We can complete immigration physicals along with the necessary paperwork to help clear your pathway to legal residency.

Take a moment to learn what you need to know to prepare for your immigration physical.

Understanding the process

The United States requires a comprehensive medical examination as part of the application to receive citizenship or a visa for residency. The government includes this important step to ensure your health and well-being and the health and well-being of the community. 

Immigration physicals serve to verify that you have the vaccinations needed to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. At Prima Medicine, our experienced team is authorized by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to complete these required medical exams.

Bringing the right paperwork

One of the most important ways you can prepare for your immigration physical is to obtain and bring the correct paperwork or forms with you. To ensure you have everything you need on hand at your exam, Prima Medicine asks you to bring the following:

  • Unsigned copy of Form I-693 (Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record)    
  • All vaccination records (see list of required vaccines below)
  • Passport or other government-issued photo identification
  • Proof of medical insurance (if applicable)
  • Documents, such as medical records, to show treatment for certain conditions

Before your appointment, be sure to complete the relevant sections of Form I-693 (Part 1 – Part 4). Don’t complete any sections designated for the physical or “civil surgeon,” and do not sign the form until instructed to do so by your Prima Medicine provider. Form I-693 must be signed in the presence of your medical doctor.   

Having proof of the right vaccinations

To meet USCIS requirements, the team at Prima Medicine must verify that you’ve been vaccinated against common communicable diseases. These vaccinations help keep you and your new community healthy. The USCIS requires proof of vaccinations against:

  • Mumps
  • Measles
  • Rubella
  • Polio
  • Tetanus and diphtheria toxoids
  • Pertussis
  • Haemophilus influenzae type B
  • Rotavirus
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Meningococcal disease
  • Varicella
  • Influenza
  • Pneumococcal pneumonia

If you don’t have proof that you’ve been vaccinated for one or more of these diseases, your Prima Medicine provider may need to order blood tests to confirm your immunization. We can also administer any you haven’t received, but this may bring an additional cost. 

Preparing for your physical exam

Your immigration physical includes a physical examination. We recommend wearing comfortable clothing and drinking plenty of water before your visit to make collecting urine and/or blood samples easier. You can expect your immigration physical to include a physical examination, including:

  • Skin test for tuberculosis
  • Height and weight check
  • Blood pressure check
  • Lung function evaluation
  • Vision and hearing assessment

Your Prima Medicine provider will talk with you about any current symptoms you’re experiencing as well as past medical diagnoses and any medications you’re taking. Your provider will also review your medical history and vaccination record and answer any questions you may have.

As part of your exam, your physician will assess you for any physical or mental disorders, including sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhea or syphilis, and substance abuse issues.  If you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse or a history of violent behavior, you must disclose these things to your physician.

While these issues won’t preclude your application from acceptance, they will need to be reviewed by a panel of physicians selected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Failure to disclose any relevant conditions could delay or stop the success of your application. 

Following your immigration physical

Once your medical examination is complete, your Prima Medicine physician will sign and seal the completed Form I-693. Once you are given your sealed form, you won’t be able to open or alter it. If your form is opened or altered, it will be rejected.

Your immigration physical will be valid for up to two years from the date your Prima Medicine doctor signs Form I-693. You should submit the completed Form I-693 with your application for residency. If you have an interview scheduled with the USCIS, you may also bring it with you at that time.

If you’re ready for your immigration physical, book an appointment online or over the phone with Prima Medicine today.

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