Normally, children under 15 years of age are not required to undergo chest x-rays or blood tests, but they must undergo immunizations and a general physical examination.
The medical examination will include a medical history, physical examination, chest X-ray, and blood tests for syphilis.
The physical examination will include at a minimum: an examination of the eyes, ears, nose, and throat, extremities, heart, lungs, abdomen, lymph nodes, skin, and external genitalia.
To help the panel physician make as accurate a report as possible, the applicant should discuss their medical history and current conditions, such as pregnancy, diabetes, hypertension, or any other conditions, as well as medicines taken, with the panel physician.
Depending upon the applicant’s age, medical history, and current medical conditions, the actual cost of the medical examination and vaccinations may vary for each applicant.
Not a Comprehensive Examination
The immigrant visa medical examination is to screen only for certain medical conditions that U.S. Public Health Service specifies for U.S. immigration purposes. It is not a full and complete physical examination and should not be considered to be a substitute for a full physical examination, diagnosis, consultation, or treatment by your primary health care provider.
During the examination, even though the panel physician might find other health issues, he/she is not required to examine you for them or provide you with any diagnosis or treatment.
Technical instructions for panel physicians
Medical Conditions and History
If you have mental retardation or learning disabilities, you must present a report that outlines your problems and any special requirements regarding education or supervision.
If you had any history of harmful or violent behavior resulting in injury to people or animals, or harm to an inanimate object, you must provide information that will allow the panel physician to determine if the behavior was related to any psychiatric or medical problem, or to drug or alcohol use. Harmful behavior includes attempted suicide or self-harm, no matter how minor in nature.
If you were treated or hospitalized for psychiatric or mental illness or alcohol or drug abuse, you must present written certification that includes diagnosis, duration of treatment rendered, and prognosis.
If you ever had a positive skin test for tuberculosis, bring a certificate from your doctor that outlines the circumstances surrounding the positive test result and, indicating what, if any, treatment was prescribed and for how long.
If you have ever been diagnosed as suffering from tuberculosis, you must present a written certification, signed by your doctor, that proves that you were adequately treated. The certificate must include dates and types of medication taken.
If you ever had an abnormal chest x-ray, arrange to borrow the last x-ray films taken and bring them to the examination appointment. The actual may be required (not the typed reports) to compare with the x-rays that will be taken at the immigrant visa medical examination.
If you had syphilis, you must bring a written certificate, signed by a doctor or public health official that proves that you were adequately treated.
If you ever had a positive VDRL or other blood test for syphilis, and were not treated, bring a written explanation signed by your doctor.
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Pregnancy and Chest x-ray
- Country using 2007 TB Technical Instructions
A pregnant woman must consent to the chest x-ray even if she is pregnant, as it is required. For the health of the applicant and her unborn child, panel physicians and laboratories should provide abdominal and pelvic protection with double layer, wrap-around lead shields while taking the chest x-ray.
- Country using 1991 TB Technical Instructions
The chest x-ray requirement for pregnant women is temporarily exempted. To grant the temporary exemption, you must bring written certification of her pregnancy signed by your personal physician or obstetrician.
Chronic Medical Condition
If you are being treated for chronic medical problems or are taking medications on a regular basis, you should already be familiar with those medical conditions or the names of the medications you are taking. If you are not sure of the diagnoses, your doctor should prepare a certificate outlining the problems, the current treatment, and prognosis. You also need to bring a list of any medications that you are taking.
Female applicants can go through the medical examination even during their menstrual period.
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