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Posts Tagged ‘Medical Examination’

6th April 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the Center for Disease Control and the United States Department of State are likely to begin imposing more stringent regulations upon visa applicants, especially immigrant visa applicants, seeking a travel document for lawful admission to the United States of America. According to research conducted by the administration of this blog as well as credible anecdotal evidence it would appear that those with tuberculosis or those who have previously had tuberculosis are likely to be required to undergo intense screening in order to ascertain whether the applicant has fully recovered from the disease and poses no threat of future contagion.

In the past, tuberculosis has been a significant issue for those within the consular jurisdiction of the US Embassy Thailand as the applicants applying for visas at the US Embassy in Bangkok and the US Consulate Chiang Mai are sometimes found to either have tuberculosis or to have had it previously. The major issue associated with Consular Processing is timing. Even for those who no longer have TB, it could take a matter of weeks or even months to undergo testing necessary to prove that the disease has been treated to such a degree that contagion is no longer an issue.

Meanwhile, there are likely to be rule changes regarding X-rays as well. For example, in the past it was possible to have the required chest X-ray waived for pregnant women. It has come to this blogger’s attention that such waivers are unlikely to continue to be granted. Therefore, those pregnant spouses and fiancees of American Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents seeking visas such as the K-1 visa, the K-3 visa, the CR-1 visa, or the IR-1 visa are likely to be required to either undergo an X-ray while using a lead screen to shield the fetus or await the birth of the child and then see that the mother undergoes an X-ray post-pregnancy. As to children, it would appear as though child seekers of visas such as the K-2 visa, K-4 visa, or the IR-2 visa may be required to have skin tests to check for illnesses. It may also prove necessary for children to be X-rayed in connection with diseases such as tuberculosis.

Notwithstanding upcoming changes some recent changes to the rules regarding disease and admission to the United States have resulted in more lax requirements for visa applicants. For example, only relatively recently have visa applicants seen the restrictions imposed on those with HIV lifted. Bearing this in mind, the reader should note that the removal of the imposition of inadmissibility upon HIV infected immigrants does not mean that it is necessarily easy to gain admission to the United States for those with HIV as such visa applications are generally subjected to intense scrutiny to ascertain whether the intending immigrant has adequate medical coverage for the duration of their lawful status in the United States. In the past, those infected with HIV needed an I-601 waiver in order to overcome the legal grounds of inadmissibility. As HIV infection is no longer a legal grounds of inadmissibility an I-601 waiver is no longer required under such circumstances.

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12th January 2010

In a recent posting on the American Immigration Lawyers Association website the author noticed a revised list of the vaccinations that are required for those seeking Immigration benefits for the United States. Below is a direct quote from the AILA publication:

Under the immigration laws of the United States, a foreign national who applies for an immigrant visa abroad, or who seeks to adjust status as a permanent resident while in the United States, is required to receive vaccinations to prevent the following diseases:
Tetanus and Diphtheria Toxoids
Influenza Type B
Hepatitis B
Any other vaccine-preventable diseases recommended by the Advisory Committee for
Immunization Practices

This information could prove useful for those assisting a prospective immigrant. This being said, the rules and required vaccinations can be subject to frequent changes. Also, the US Embassy in Bangkok maintains a list of hospitals that are permitted to conduct medical examinations for US Immigration purposes. This list is subject to change and as a result those seeking medical examination for visa obtainment purposes would be wise to contact the United States Embassy in order to obtain the most up-to-date information.

In recent months, the United States Department of State and the Center for Disease Control have changed some of the rules regarding communicable diseases and United States Immigration. HIV has been taken off of the list of diseases that will act as a bar to admission into the United States. Therefore, those who previously were inadmissible to the USA due to the fact that they had HIV no longer need an HIV waiver (also known as an I-601 waiver) to overcome their inadmissibility and may now be eligible to enter the United States provided they meet other Department of State and USCIS requirements.

The United States government has a responsibility to make sure that those entering the USA are not carrying diseases that could pose a threat to the American Citizenry. To this end, Embassy staff and Civil Surgeons at overseas hospitals take their job very seriously. In Thailand, a major issue for some applicants is Tuberculosis. Some applicants are found to have or have had TB. In these situations, a battery of tests must be conducted in order to ensure that the disease has been eradicated and the applicant is no longer contagious.  For those who had TB in the past, a thorough search of the applicant’s medical records is conducted in order for the Civil Surgeon to be certain that the applicant no longer poses a threat to others. Although sometimes frustrating, the Medical Examination process is a necessary component of the due diligence conducted by the United States Embassies and US Consulates abroad.

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