Why do you need a medical exam to become a citizen?

On Behalf of | Jun 4, 2022 | Immigration |

There are a lot of elements to becoming a U.S. citizen. One hurdle immigrants have to clear before becoming a citizen is a medical exam.

It may not seem like a check-up could stop an applicant from becoming a citizen, but it can. The government denies citizenship for specific medical ailments the exam can uncover. Discover more about why this step in the citizenship process may result in a denial.

What is the purpose of the medical exam?

The main reason for the medical exam requirement is to stop the spread of infectious diseases in the U.S. Some of the most common that will flag an immigrant’s record include:

  • Syphilis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Gonorrhea

Other viruses or diseases that the country deems of public health concern and those that require quarantine will also stop a person from gaining residency, at least while an infection is present. Some of these viruses may go away, or the government may lift the declaration.

What does the exam consist of?

The medical exam is relatively standard. A healthcare professional will conduct a physical exam to detect any signs of infection or disease. The candidate must provide both blood and urine samples for inspection and analysis. If vaccine records are available, the applicant should provide those as proof of requisite shots.

What other conditions might stall entry?

Aside from contagious diseases, other health conditions may stop the citizenship process, at least temporarily. If a patient presents with signs of drug addiction and labwork confirms it is ongoing, the application may fail. A medical or mental condition that may make someone act erratically or violently, such as untreated schizophrenia, may also bar entry.

The medical exam is not something to fear when trying to become a citizen. If anything, it may reveal a medical condition that requires treatment before the process may continue.