The USCIS Civil Surgeon

Any foreign national who wishes to apply for permanent resident status (green card) must undergo an medical evaluation by a USCIS approved civil surgeon.  According to US law, specifically INA Section 212(a)(1)(A)(i) and 212(a)(1)(A)(ii), an immigrant must show that he or she 1.  does not have a communicable disease of public health significance and 2. has received vaccination against vaccine-preventable diseases.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) controls which diseases are communicable diseases of public health significance and which are vaccine-preventable.  The CDC currently lists Tuberculosis, Syphilis, Chancroid, Gonorrhea, Granuloma Inguinale, Lymphogranuloma Venereum and Hansen’s Disease (Leprosy) as diseases of public health significance and Mumps, Measles, Rubella, Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Haemophilus influenzae Type B, Rotavirus, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Meningocococcal disease, Varicella, Pneumococcal pneumonia and Influenza as vaccine-preventable diseases.

When applying for a green card, a foreign national must have a USCIS civil surgeon complete Form I-693 and indicate that he or she does not have a communicable disease and that their vaccination record is up to date.  If the foreign national does have a communicable disease or does not wish to be vaccinated, he or she may apply for a waiver.

In order for a foreign national to document that he or she does have a communicable disease and that his or her vaccinations are in order, a USCIS civil surgeon must attest to these facts by completing Form I-693 and providing a sealed copy of the form to the foreign national to be submitted with the application for residency.  It is very important that the I-693 be fully completed and signed by the civil surgeon.  Filing an incomplete I-693 with USCIS can result in a denial of the green card application.

Many of our clients ask us how to locate a civil surgeon and if we recommend any in particular.  While we have hundreds or thousands of clients who have obtained medical exams performed by civil surgeons, we do not get involved directly with them.  We point our client to the USCIS Civil Surgeon locator tool. Our clients meet with the civil surgeon to perform the examinations and the civil surgeon will provide us with a sealed envelope containing Form I-693 which we then submit to USCIS.  The civil surgeon will communicate with our clients and inform them if the results are negative or positive.  Therefore, we cannot make any recommendations on which civil surgeon to select but if you would like to share your experiences with a USCIS civil surgeon here, we will be happy to post them so others can use the information to select their own.