Office of International Affairs

Tuberculosis (TB) Screening Requirement

Requirement in brief: Beginning Fall 2006, the University of Michigan-Dearborn will require certain entering international students to be screened for tuberculosis (TB). All University of Michigan campuses (Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint) will participate.

Am I required to be screened?
You must be screened for TB if you answer Yes to ALL of the following three questions.

  • Are you an entering UM-Dearborn international student with an F-1 or J-1/J-2 visa type?

  • Did the UM-Dearborn issue your Form I-20 or DS-2019?

  • Are you a citizen of one of the following countries (identified by the World Health Organization)?
    • Afghanistan
    • Bangladesh
    • Brazil
    • Cambodia
    • China (includes Hong Kong SAR)
    • Democratic Republic of the Congo
    • Ethiopia
    • India
    • Indonesia
    • Kenya
    • Mozambique
    • Myanmar
    • Nigeria
    • Pakistan
    • Phillipines
    • Russian Federation
    • South Africa
    • Taiwan
    • Thailand
    • United Republic of Tanzania
    • Uganda
    • Vitenam
    • Zimbabwe

Why do I need to be screened for TB?
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Michigan Advisory Committee for Elimination of Tuberculosis recommend screening individuals from countries where TB is relatively common. The UM Executive Officers approved this policy in 2004 (see Tuberculosis Screening Mandate). A TB skin test can detect whether you have TB infection and if so, you can get treatment.

Who identified the countries?
The World Health Organization (WHO) identified the countries, which together account for 80% of the world's TB cases. See the Stop TB Partnership website for a summary.

What if I don't comply with the screening requirement?
You will not be allowed to register for your second semester until you are screened for TB, which will also affect your ability to stay in the US on an F-1 or J-1 visa sponsored by the UM-Dearborn. Please be screened before your deadline date.

Is there a deadline date for the screening requirement?
You must be screened before the following deadline date during the first semester you arrived at the UM-Dearborn.
Fall (Sept. Dec.): October 15th
Winter (Jan. April): February 15th
Summer I (May June): June 15th
Summer II (July Aug): August 15th
If you are a visiting scholar you will have 30 days after your arrival date to complete the TB requirement. Please be screened as soon as possible so that you can register for your second semester classes and your visa status will not be jeopardized.

What if I have dual or multiple citizenship/nationalities?
Whether you must be screened for TB will be determined by your citizenship/nationality stated on your Form I-20 for F-1 students, and Form DS-2019 for J-1 students.

I already had a TB skin test (or treatment) in my country. Can I meet the requirement by bringing documentation?
No, you must be retested.

What is the process for screening?
Print the International Student Tuberculosis (TB) Screening Information and Authorization form. Obtain an authorized signature from the International Office that verifies that you are eligible for screening at no cost to you. Go to Henry Ford Medical Center-Fairlane (HFMC-FL) and present the signed form to them. You will meet with a nurse, who will administer the TB skin test. You will return to HFMC-FL within 48 to 72 hours to have the test read. HFMC-FL will sign the authorization form noting your results. Return the form to Office of International Affairs, Suite 108 at The Union, to ensure that you will not be billed for the screening.

What is the process for TB skin testing?
First, you will meet with a nurse to be injected with a small amount of fluid called PPD under the top layer of skin on your lower arm.

Next, you will need to return in person 48-72 hours later for the test reaction on your arm to be examined.

  • If the reaction is not significant, or there is no reaction, then you have no TB infection (negative).

  • If the reaction of your arm is significant (positive), a chest x-ray will be required to check for active TB in the lungs.

What if my TB skin test is positive?
A chest x-ray will be required to check for active TB in the lungs.

  • If the chest x-ray is normal and you have no symptoms of active TB, you have inactive TB.

  • If you have an abnormal chest x-ray or symptoms of active TB, you may be required to have additional tests.

What are the side effects of the test?
The TB skin test will not make you sick. It may cause swelling, itching or tenderness at the injection site, which usually disappears within a week. You can continue normal activities including washing your arm after the test.

What if I am diagnosed with TB infection?

  • Most people have inactive TB, which cannot be transmitted and does not cause symptoms. Treatment with antibiotics is recommended in order to prevent active TB. You can attend school normally.

  • Active TB can be transmitted and is very serious, possibly causing permanent damage and even death. It is curable with appropriate medicine, and treatment with antibiotics is required.

Will TB test results affect my visa or student status?
Having TB will NOT affect your visa or student status. Students who have TB infection are not discriminated against in any way. Health records are confidential and cannot be released without patient consent.

How much would treatment cost?
The screening cost for UM-Dearborn J-1 and F-1 students and scholars will be paid by the University.

I got BCG vaccine in my country. Do I still need to test?
Yes, you must be retested.

Do others (family members, travelers to the countries listed by WHO) have to be screened for TB?
TB screening is encouraged for others at risk but not required by the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

For more information, please contact:

Suzette Crandell
Office of International Affairs

780 Town Center Dr., Suite 108

Dearborn, MI 4812

Phone 313-583-6600