Whether for political or religious freedom, economic opportunity, or education, many people seek to immigrate to the United States. There are any number of requirements, though, that all potential immigrants must meet in order to be granted entrance, not the least of which are medical exams and specific immunizations.
Dr. Bharat Gandhi and Dr. Priya Gandhi at Medinet Family Care Clinic in Houston and Sugar Land, Texas, provide needed immigration exams and vaccinations. In fact, Bharat Gandhi, MD, has been a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) civil surgeon for over 20 years.
He helps those wishing to enter the country — as well as those who want to change their status to lawful permanent resident — with all their medical needs. He follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regulations for all medically necessary immigration exams and vaccinations.
What are the CDC’s guidelines?
The CDC/HHS regulations require that anyone applying to immigrate to the U.S. receive a medical exam. During that exam, you’re required to document that you’ve received certain vaccinations. If you don’t have such documentation, you must receive the vaccines at the time of the examination.
The required vaccinations, which are periodically reviewed and updated by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), are those recommended for the general American public. The vaccines must be age-appropriate and protect against a disease with the potential to cause an outbreak. They must protect against a disease already eliminated or in the process of being eliminated in the United States.
The only exceptions to the CDC/HHS recommendations are if you can document already having received a given vaccine or if the vaccine isn’t medically advised.
If you need to be vaccinated, you’ll receive only one dose of each required vaccine during your medical exam, but are encouraged to follow up and get the remaining doses required to finish each series if your application goes through.
Which vaccinations are required for immigration?
The vaccines currently required for immigration to the United States include:
- Tetanus and diphtheria
- Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib)
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Meningococcal disease
- Pneumococcal disease
- Seasonal influenza (flu shot)
What else is covered in the immigration medical exam?
Our office is authorized by USCIS to conduct immigration medical exams. We perform a thorough examination to check all aspects of your health and for various types of diseases, including those that would be prevented by appropriate vaccination.
In addition, we conduct a tuberculosis test, which is performed in two separate sessions. The first session is a skin test, when you’re injected with a small amount of fluid (called tuberculin) on the lower part of your arm. You must return to the office two to three days later for the second session, when the doctor determines if the test was positive or negative for TB.
We also conduct a test for the sexually transmitted disease syphilis. This test is done by analyzing a small amount of your blood. The reason both the TB and syphilis tests are required is because these are highly communicable diseases that can spread very easily.
If you’re immigrating to the U.S. and need to get your medical exam and required vaccinations, give us a call at either of our locations or book an appointment online. We look forward to welcoming you into our office — and hopefully into our country.