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Immigration Medical Examinations: Everything You Wanted to Know

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Immigration Medical Examinations: Everything You Wanted to Know


An immigration medical exam is a crucial part of immigrating to any country on the planet including the UK and become a permanent resident of it. The medical exam is a standard and routine part of the process and is meant to ensure public safety as well as to bolster your grounds of admissibility to the new country.

More about Immigration Medical Exam

The necessary information about an individual from an immigration medical exam is derived from the following:

  • Immigration medical exam
  • The resulting report
  • Vaccination record

Applicants are denied admission on the following grounds related to health:

  • Drug addiction to abuse
  • Communicable disease that may affect public health
  • Mental or physical disorder along with harmful behaviour
  • An applicant fails to cite documents of the necessary vaccinations

Selecting the right doctor for your exam

Not every doctor is eligible to conduct your immigration medical exam. The healthcare specialist whom you choose must be recognised by the UK authorities. When you submit your immigration visa application through a UK consulate or embassy, they will give you a list of physicians near you who are on their panel. It is always best that you approach your local consulate for this procedure. You will have to book an appointment with the panel physician.

Things to carry for your visa medical exam

You need to carry the following while going for the visa medical exam:

  • All vaccination records.
  • Your valid passport or any other photo identification issued by the government at your home country.
  • Relevant forms that are required to report your medical examination and vaccination details.
  • Certain number of your passport size photo.
  • List of your medicines if you are under treatment for any chronic medical condition.
  • Tuberculosis certificate from your regular doctor – if you underwent a positive skin test previously for the disease.
  • People suffering from Syphilis need submitting a clearance certificate issued by a registered doctor or public health official to prove that an individual underwent a proper treatment.
  • If you were hospitalised or underwent treatment for mental illness, drug or alcohol abuse, you need to submit a written certification that covers diagnosis, the duration of treatment and other relevant information.

In addition to the ones mentioned above, do not forget to carry sufficient funds to pay for this service. 

Importance of vaccinations

It is the doctor’s responsibility to make sure that you have taken all the necessary vaccines. The vaccines include:

  • Polio
  • Mumps, measles, rubella
  • Pertussis
  • Haemophilius influenza type B
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Varicella
  • Tetanus and diphtheria toxoids
  • Influenza
  • Rotavirus
  • Meningococcal
  • Pneumococcal pneumonia

The list of vaccinations mentioned above is subjected to change from time to time as new vaccines are added to it over time. Not every immigration applicant needs to take all the vaccinations. The panel doctor will provide you with the necessary guidance over the matter. The age of an applicant plays a crucial role in choosing the appropriate vaccines from the list. 

If you have already taken the vaccines, do not forget to carry the vaccination reports at your visa medical exam. The reports may have to undergo a ‘certified translation’ if they are not already in English. It is the panel doctor’s responsibility to provide you with the remaining vaccinations you need. You may have to go for repeated visits for this although that depends on the types of vaccinations. 

Your complete medical history

The panel doctor or anyone among his/her office staff will ask you questions related to your medical history. They may stress certain aspects at this phase depending on their choice and interest.

You will also field questions related to the habitual use of drugs. If you are found to be a drug addict or abuser, your immigration application is bound to be rejected. However, if you are in remission and trying hard to get over the addiction then your immigrant visa is more likely to be accepted. In other words, applicants who are denied immigration to the UK on the ground of drug abuse or addiction can apply again, provided they are in remission.

Physical examination

The panel doctor will also give you a thorough physical examination. It involves medically diagnosing your ears, eyes, nose and throat along with skin, abdomen, lungs, heart and the external genitalia. The healthcare expert will also ask to take certain blood tests and x-rays of the chest. 

Children are usually excluded from this blood test and chest x-ray. Women should better not appear for visa medical exams when they are pregnant.

Examining your mental health

The panel doctor also conducts a mental status exam to understand the level of your thought, intelligence, judgement, comprehension, mood and behaviour. If you suffer from mental or physical disorder and have harmful behaviour linked to those disorders, then your immigration application has a higher chance of getting rejected.

The ground of inadmissibility can be broadly divided into two sections:

  • An applicant’s present mental or physical disorders with associated harmful behaviour.
  • The applicant’s past mental or physical disorders with associated harmful behaviour that may recur.

Immigration medical exam cost

The cost is likely to vary greatly depending on the country you are applying from and the particular panel doctor you visit. It is a good idea to go to your nearest panel doctor for an immigration medical exam. However, you may check with few other physicians on the panel for the necessary fee.

At the end of your examination, the doctor fills in a form provided to you by the UK consulate at the time of submitting your immigration visa application. In some cases, the doctor may send the results directly to the consulate.

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