For an immigrant to obtain a visa to live in the U.S., they need to undergo a medical exam and screenings to document their physical and mental health. Of course, a person doesn’t have to be in perfect health to obtain a visa. However, certain conditions -– particularly those that are transmissible or could cause a person to pose a danger to others — could make someone ineligible.
For example, if a person has never been vaccinated for a contagious and dangerous disease like polio or if they have an untreated psychological condition that could cause them to become violent, that will likely impact their ability to enter the U.S.
What’s involved in the medical exam?
People who are seeking a visa will need to undergo both a physical and mental examination. They will be tested for various diseases. They need to provide a record of their medical history, including their vaccinations. They’ll also undergo drug and alcohol screenings.
There is a long list of immunizations that people must have had to enter the U.S. These include:
- Mumps, measles, and rubella (MMR)
- Hepatitis A and B
- Pneumococcal Pneumonia
This is just a partial list that’s updated as needed. You can obtain the list when applying for a visa. You can also obtain a list of U.S. State Department-approved doctors who can administer the exams.
The examining doctor will need to see comprehensive medical records and proof of immunizations. It’s wise to find out what is needed while still in the home country where there will be far easier access to the records.
The doctor will ask about current or past mental disorders that can cause violent or harmful behavior. If a person has been or is currently being treated for a psychological condition that could impact their admissibility to or status in the U.S., it’s a good idea to have complete records of treatment.
Generally, as long as a person doesn’t present a danger to the health and safety of others, their health will not be a barrier to obtaining a visa. However, if you believe that a family member has been wrongfully denied a visa because of a physical or mental health issue, it may be wise to consult an immigration attorney to find out what options you have.