This edition of Ask-the-Consul addresses some common questions about the medical examination process for visa applicants.
Q: Who needs a medical examination?
A: ALL immigrant visa applicants, regardless of age, must undergo a medical examination before a visa can be issued. The examination must be performed by an Embassy approved panel physician.
Occasionally, certain non-immigrant visa applicants may require a medical evaluation. If you require one, the Consular Officer will inform the applicant at the time of the visa interview and provide further instructions.
Q: Who are the Embassy’s Panel Physicians, and can I use my own doctor for the examination?
A: Currently, there are two Embassy approved panel physicians to conduct medical examinations for visa applicants. There may be additional physicians added in the future. Medical examination results from other physicians will not be accepted.
Current approved physicians are:
- Arya Devi Karyampudi
St. Joseph’s Mercy Hospital
132 Parade Street
- Yonnette Roach
Dr. Roach International Medical Center
111 Duke Street
Q: When should I schedule my medical examination?
A: To prevent delays in visa processing, applicants should ensure that their examination is conducted BEFORE the visa interview. To allow sufficient time for the medical report to be received by the Embassy, we recommend scheduling your medical exam with one of the approved doctors at least 7 business days before the interview. Your case may be delayed several days if your medical examination is not received by the date of your visa interview.
Q: What is the cost for the medical Exam?
A: Any medical examination fees, including x-ray and blood test fees, must be paid directly to the examining physician. Currently, exams have a MAXIMUM fee of $35,000.00 Guyanese dollars for applicants under 15 years of age and $48,000.00 Guyanese dollars for applicants 15 years of age and older. Please note that this is subject to change.
This base fee DOES NOT include the cost of additional vaccinations. Vaccination fees, if taken from the panel physician, ranges from a minimum of G$14000 to a maximum of G$68,000 Guyanese dollars, depending on the age of the applicant. Consult one of the physicians for more details.
Q: Do I have to take the required vaccines from the panel physician?
A: Many applicants may have already received some of the required vaccines through their local health clinics or hospitals as part of their country’s immunization requirement. Applicants should present their immunization records as evidence of having taken these vaccines.
If an applicant has not yet taken all the required vaccines, he/she may choose to obtain those vaccines from their local health ministry or other authorized health facility. These applicants will need to present the vaccination record to the panel physician during the medical evaluation process.
Q: What are the required vaccinations?
A: U.S. immigration law requires immigrant visa applicants to obtain certain vaccinations prior to the issuance of a visa. Current immigrant vaccination requirements are available on the Center for Disease Control website.
Q: Do I have to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as part of the medical process?
A: As of October 01, 2021, COVID-19 vaccination became a requirement for immigrant visa applicants. Please see https://www.cdc.gov/immigrantrefugeehealth/panel-physicians/covid-19-technical-instructions.html for more details on approved COVID-19 vaccines and waivers or you may consult one of the panel physicians for guidance.
Q: I was referred for further Tuberculosis (TB) testing. Why does it take so long?
A: If the panel physician determines, based on his/her initial examination and review of X-rays, that further testing is required to rule out a tuberculosis diagnosis, you will be referred to take a sputum test. Please be prepared to wait at least 8 weeks, as this is the length of time needed by the Guyana National Reference Laboratory to make a diagnosis. Only the National Reference Lab can perform this test and the panel physicians have no control over the wait time. Your wait time may also increase depending on the availability of testing kits in the country.
“Ask the Consul” is a monthly column from the U.S. Embassy answering questions about U.S. immigration law and visa issues. Detailed information about visas and travel can be viewed at https://gy.usembassy.gov/, https://ais.usvisa-info.com/ and https://travel.state.gov/. Applicants are strongly encouraged to prepare their own documents and avoid third-party advice. U.S. Consular rules change frequently, and non-US government advisors often provide inadequate or inaccurate information. Please contact our Visa Information Service Center on toll free numbers: 1-877-246-6788 or 703-988-5765 if you have general visa questions.”