CHA offers medical exams for immigrants

Providers available to see patients at CHA Occupational Health in Somerville.

Submitted by Bill Greene, Business Operations Manager, CHA Occupational Health

In order to become a permanent resident of the United States (Green Card Holder), a physical exam is required. The exam must be completed by a physician known as a Civil Surgeon. Unfortunately, a primary care provider at your local doctor’s office will not be able to conduct the exam. However, Cambridge Health Alliance has certified Civil Surgeons at the Occupational Health Department right in Somerville that can assist!

The exam is pretty straightforward but is required to establish that an applicant is not prohibited from entry into the country based on a public health concern. Learn more about the requirements here. During the appointment, a physician will review your health history, as well as immunization records, and ensure that you have the required vaccinations against common communicable diseases. The exam consists of a physical test, Tuberculosis screening blood test and Syphilis blood test.

Staff will also need to review your history of immunizations. If you do not have a record of these vaccinations, a staff member will draw blood and test it for a small additional fee. Also, you can receive vaccinations afterward if you are missing something specific. Tetanus, Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR), Hepatitis B series, Varicella Influenza (if the exam is during flu season, typically between October 1 and April 1), Pneumococcal vaccination (if you are 65+) and Meningococcal vaccine will be reviewed.

Before you schedule an appointment, make sure your that you have a photo ID and track down any vaccination records. If your records are lost or not available try to piece it together from previous healthcare providers, home records, schools or colleges, and previous employers. Finally, remember to bring eyeglasses if you wear them! A quick eye test is included in the examination.

Have you, a friend or loved one had an immigration exam at CHA? If so, tell us about your story and how it may have helped you transition into a permanent residence.

If you or someone you know needs to schedule an immigration exam, please call CHA Occupational Health at 617-591-4650 or visit

Cambridge Health Alliance

Contributed By: Cambridge Health Alliance

Cambridge Health Alliance is an academic community health care system committed to serving all members of our communities. We have expertise in primary care, mental health and substance abuse, and caring for diverse and complex populations. CHA patients receive high quality care in convenient neighborhood locations, and have seamless access to advanced care through CHA’s affiliation with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. With over 140,000 patients in Cambridge, Somerville Everett and Boston’s Metro North, CHA is working hard to offer the integrated services its communities need now, and in the future.