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Vaccines for Immigration and Naturalization
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Medical Examination of Aliens
United States Immigration and Naturalization Services and Nationality Act requires that any person who seeks admission as an immigrant, or adjustment of status to the status of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, shall present documentation of having received vaccination against vaccine-preventable diseases, specifically: mumps, measles, rubella, polio, tetanus and diphtheria toxoids, pertussis, influenza type B, hepatitis B, varicella and pneumococcal.
Don’t delay your naturalization application process; schedule an appointment today at Passport Health Miami.
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IMMIGRATION PHYSICALS 101
A medical examination is a common experience for immigrants. Many may wonder why the examination is needed. The medical exam is required for those applying for adjustment of status to permanent residence (often referred to as “green card” status). Applicants for adjustment of status are treated as if they are trying to obtain admission to theUnited States. The reason for the medical examination is to determine if applicants have any health concerns that would make them ineligible for permanent residence.
There are four categories of medical grounds that could deem an individual inadmissable: communicable diseases of public health significance, lack of required vaccinations, physical or mental disorders with harmful behavior, and drug abuse or addiction.
Communicable diseases that prevent individuals from being granted the green card include Tuberculosis (TB), Syphilis, and Hansen’s disease (Leprosy). Civil surgeons administer one of two TB tests – the tuberculin skin test or a blood test known as an interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA) test – and may require the green card applicant to undergo a chest x-ray if a diagnosis of TB is a possibility based on initial test results. The examination does not include human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing, as HIV is no longer a bar to admission.
Lack of Vaccinations
Green card applicants must show that they have been vaccinated against a range of diseases. Recent changes eliminated the need for vaccination for Human Papillomavirus(HPV) and Herpes Zoster(virus that causes Shingles). The doctor will review vaccination records to determine which vaccinations are needed and applicants should take these records with them to avoid unnecessary vaccinations. If vaccinations are not medically appropriate for an individual, the physician will note this on the medical form. This is common for pregnant women. Passport Health carries all recommended and required vaccinations nationwide.
Physical or Mental Disorders and Drug Use / Abuse
Civil surgeons must determine if an applicant has any diagnosable physical or mental disorder that is associated with behavior that is dangerous to the applicant or others. The diagnosis of a mental disorder, by itself, generally does not prevent one from qualifying for permanent residence. The existence of mental disorder/s combined with an applicant’s history of harmful or dangerous behavior may result in a referral to a specialist for further evaluation and assessment.
The medical examination is a necessary part of the green card process. For most green card applicants the immigration physical is a routine matter. Individuals who may suffer from a possible ground of ineligibility should discuss this with an immigration attorney. Attorneys at the Murthy Law Firm are available to consult regarding a broad range of immigration matters.
This article was provided by the Murthy Law Firm, a nationally recognized immigration law firm in Owings Mills, Maryland. Individuals who have immigration questions may visit www.murthy.com.
USCIS Changed Vaccination Requirements To Adjust Status To Legal Permanent Resident
On December 14, 2009 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a revised list of vaccines required for applicants seeking to adjust status to become legal permanent residents. This revision eliminates the requirements for HPV and Shingles vaccines, and follows guidance from the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Click here to visit the Official US Citizen & Immigration Services website for more information.