Civil Surgeons

Technical Instructions for Civil Surgeons

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), United States Public Health Service (PHS), is responsible for ensuring that aliens entering the United States do not pose a threat to the public health of this country. The medical examination required by CDC regulations is a means of evaluating the health of aliens applying for entry into the United States.

Technical Instructions

These instructions are in accordance with CDC regulations and are for the use of panel physicians evaluating aliens applying for immigrant or refugee status, as well as non-immigrants who are required to have an overseas medical examination.

For any questions about these Technical Instructions, please contact the Immigrant, Refugee, and Migrant Health Branch of the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), at

Role of the Civil Surgeon

Civil surgeons must follow specific identification procedures, prescribed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), to ensure that the person appearing for the medical examination is the person who is actually applying. The civil surgeon is responsible for the entire examination, including chest radiographs, when required, and necessary laboratory procedures. The civil surgeon is also responsible for reporting the results of all the required tests and consultations on the prescribed forms. The civil surgeon is not responsible for determining whether an applicant is actually eligible to adjust their status; that determination is made by the DHS officer after reviewing all records, including the report of the medical examination.