The Green Card Health Examination

When applying for a green card in the United States, applicants undergo a series of forms, interviews, exams, and more. One of the exams that applicants must complete is a health examination performed by an approved medical professional. 


This is not a standard physical examination. In fact, it is more of a screening to see whether it is safe to allow you into the United States. You don’t have to be in perfect health, but you must not have any serious or communicable diseases, mental disorders, or drug problems that would make you inadmissible or ineligible for a green card. 


The doctor will review your records, such as police, military, school, or employment records, that might help to determine a history of harmful behavior related to a physical or mental disorder. You will receive a mental status examination, assessing your intelligence, thought, comprehension, judgment, affect, mood, and behavior. You will be asked about your medical history, and the doctor will also review chest X-rays and treatment records to see if you have or ever had tuberculosis.


First, the basic things to know:

  • Your own doctor cannot do the exam unless he or she happens to be on the government’s list of approved doctors
  • You will need to pay the fee for the exam 
  • The U.S. government does not control how much the doctor can charge
  • This requirement applies to both adult and child applicants


You will need proof of all required vaccines as outlined by the CDC. Also, you cannot currently have any of these serious diseases: gonorrhea, infectious leprosy (Hansen’s disease), infectious stage syphilis, active tuberculosis, or certain diseases that may pose a public health emergency. Quarantine applies for other diseases such as recently including cholera, diphtheria, infectious tuberculosis, plague, smallpox, yellow fever, viral hemorrhagic fevers, severe acute respiratory syndromes, and novel or reemergent influenza. COVID-19 is currently a quarantine eligible disease, however, applicants must be fully vaccinated to be eligible for a green card. 


If you are a foreign national interested in applying for a green card, the medical exam is a key part of your application process. Our team of immigration attorneys can advise you throughout the applicant process – contact us today.