History of Tuberculosis Requires A 3-Day Sputum Exam Before CR1/IR1 Visa Approval

Although this may not affect the majority of visa applicants; I decided to write about it because it may help someone understand the process.

So what exactly is a sputum test? It is a medical exam where you will be asked to cough deeply and spit any material that comes up from your lungs into a special container.

This sample is sent to a lab where it is placed in a special dish (culture) and watched for two months to see if bacteria or other disease-causing organisms grow.

As you can see, it is straightforward but the problem is that it will delay your visa approval by a few months.

Should I Tell The Physician About My History of Tuberculosis?

physician-examYes, it is always advisable to be completely truthful during your initial medical exam.

Even if it has been many years or decades since your TB infection, let the physician know right away.

Often the physician will know because of scar tissue formation in the lungs that can be visible during the required chest X-ray.

Having a history of tuberculosis will not result in a denial for the CR1/IR1 visa as long as you are not currently infected. Even if you are contagious, the protocol is for you to get treated and complete a successful sputum exam.

The U.S. government is more concerned about admitting someone who is contagious and will not punish those who have had a history of TB but are now clear of the infection.

What Is The Process For The Sputum Examination?

Day 1:

You will be given a time to show up for the exam, try to get there early.  The guard at the entrance will give you a ticket number and a mask after presenting your documents for the appointment.

You will be instructed to wait in a seating area with other people waiting for their exam. The staff nurse will begin calling numbers from ascending order and will collect your documents excluding the receipt.

sputumexamhowtoAfter a few minutes, they will called ticket numbers by batches of 20 to proceed to an open outdoor area or a specific area that can be disinfected for the collection of the sputum.

You will then be seated and called one by one and asked to sign an attendance sheet. The staff nurse will checked the file and scan the label on the sterile sputum container which are specifically assigned to each applicant.

The nurse then gives back your passport and a piece of paper. At the collection area, You will rinsed your mouth with the purified water. You will be asked to cough multiple times until the nurse is able to collect enough sputum.

Day 2:

The second day will be similar to the first and  will need to cough so that the nurse can collect the specimen.

Day 3:

The third day will also involve sputum collection by the staff nurse. You will then be asked to come back the next day for the pulmonary evaluation.

Day 4:

During the pulmonary exam you will be asked about family/relatives with previous TB a and if you have any symptoms like backache,cough for two weeks, or coughing out blood.

You will be given the results of the sputum exam and required to wait 2 months to make sure that a negative result will not require further treatment.

What If My Sputum Exam Is Positive For Tuberculosis?

treatment-for-tbIf you are found to be positive with TB, you will be required to complete a 6 month treatment regimen.

The visa process will not continue until you are completely free of TB for at least two consecutive months.

Of course, this will cause a significant delay in receiving your CR1/IR1 visa, however, it does not mean that it will be more difficult to get approved.

Once you complete your treatment, you will then need to go through the sputum examination again.

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