Frequently Asked Questions About the Immigration Medical Exam

Getting a medical exam as part of the immigration visa process (or as part of the process of changing your status to permanent resident) can be intimidating. However, you should understand that very few health issues are seen as serious impediments to getting a visa and that many of these health issues can be treated or controlled. Let’s answer some frequently asked questions about the immigration medical exam: 


Could my non-infectious chronic medical problem prevent me from getting a visa? 


Probably not. If your medical issue (such as high cholesterol, diabetes, herpes, or heart disease) doesn’t prevent you from working and doesn’t require extensive care, it should not be a problem, especially if you are receiving treatment and stable. It could be a problem if it is a degenerative disease or terminal illness (such as ALS or cancer) or if your medical issue would require full-time medical care at an assisted living facility. 


Could my depression prevent me from getting a visa? 


If your depression is under control and being treated, it should not present a problem. The medical examiner may be concerned if your depression prevents you from working or requires institutionalization – or if your depression may cause you to hurt yourself or others. However, if you are functioning and stable according to your doctor, it is probably not a need for concern. 


Could my history of substance abuse prevent me from getting a visa? 


If you are presently abusing drugs or alcohol – or if you believe you are dependent on an illegal substance – this is absolutely an issue when securing your visa. However, if you are in recovery from an addiction problem, you may still be able to immigrate. Be honest with your examiner, bring a letter from your doctor confirming that you are clean and recovering, and any history of clean drug tests that you have. 

Vaughan de Kirby
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San Francisco California EB-5 Investment Immigration Attorney