Laws and Regulations for the Medical Examination of Aliens

At a glance

The Department of Health and Human Services has regulatory authority to promulgate regulations that establish requirements for the medical examination of aliens before they may be admitted into the United States. Under this authority, the Division of Global Migration Health administers the regulations which include the health-related conditions that make aliens ineligible for entry into the United States.

Terms to Know

An “alien” (a term used under the Immigration and Nationality Act) is any person not a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States. Some types of aliens include immigrants, refugees, asylees, or parolees as defined below:

  • An immigrant is either a person from another country admitted to the United States as a lawful permanent resident or a person in the United States who adjusts visa status to be a lawful permanent resident.
  • A refugee is any person who is outside his or her country of nationality who is unable or unwilling to return to that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, particular social group, or political opinion.
  • An asylee is considered the same as a refugee, except that an asylee applies for asylum status either upon arrival at a U.S. port of entry or after entry into the United States.
  • A parolee is a person from another country who appears to be inadmissible to the inspecting officer, but is allowed into the United States for urgent humanitarian reasons or when his or her entry is determined to be for significant public benefit.

Legal Foundation for Authority

The legal foundation for this authority is found in Title 8: Aliens and Nationality and Title 42: The Public Health and Welfare of the U.S. Code (USC), and relevant supporting regulations at Title 42 Public Health in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).

Title 8 of the U.S. Code: Aliens and Nationality

Title 42 of the U.S. Code: The Public Health and Welfare

Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations: Public Health

Additional United States Federal Law Resources

Title 8 of the U.S. Code: Aliens and Nationality