USCIS Validity Rule Change for Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record
USCIS Updates Policy Guidance Concerning Form I-693 Adjusting the Allotted Times for Signature and Submission
On October 18th, 2018, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it was updating its policy guidance with regards to Form I-963, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record. The updates stipulated are effective for all Form I-693s submitted before the November 1st that followed, and have been explained as necessary in order to reflect more extensive processing times for adjustment of status applications (Form I-485).
Prior to the change in policy, a submitted Form I-693 remained valid so long as it was filed within one year following the date of a civil surgeon’s signature thereof and under the condition that USCIS adjudicated the underlying immigration petition within a year following the Form I-693’s filing date.
The new policy affecting all Form I-693s submitted after November 1st of 2018, however, appears to modify these time spans to allow for a longer period of validity after submission while at the same time reducing the time allowed between submission and the applicant’s completion of the medical examination. The latter modification introduced by USCIS’s updated guidance is true unless Form I-693 is submitted at a time after the connected petition is filed, but more on that below.
New Regulations Under Which a Form I-693 Remains Valid
For all Form I-693s filed after October 1st of last year, validity is retained if it fulfills each of the following two conditions:
The form was signed by a civil surgeon no more than sixty days prior to the date of the underlying petition’s filing.
USCIS adjudicates the application within two years following the date of the civil surgeon's signature.
For Form I-693s which were filed before the date USCIS’s new policy guidance went into effect, validity is maintained if it falls under any of the descriptions below:
The form was signed by a civil surgeon more than sixty days before the underlying petition was filed with USCIS, but the applicant submitted Form I-693 no more than one year after the date of the civil surgeon’s signing, and USCIS issues a decision on the underlying benefit application no more than one year following the Form I-693’s submission.
The civil surgeon signed Form I-693 no more than sixty days before the underlying benefit application’s filing with USCIS, and USCIS issues a decision no more than two years following the date of civil surgeon signature.
The civil surgeon signed Form I-693 and it is submitted after the applicant files the benefit application with USCIS, and USCIS issues a decision on the application no more than two years following the date of the civil surgeon's signature.
It may be noted that, in all potential cases, a Form I-693 that is filed more than a year following its signing by a civil surgeon does not meet USCIS’s policies for validity.
Furthermore, it is useful to know that two overarching options exist for the time in which a Form I-693 may be filed. It can either be submitted simultaneously with an individual’s underlying petition or, especially if one wishes to ensure the form’s falling within the filing-to-adjudication time allowance, any time following the benefit application’s filing so long it is before USCIS reaches a decision.
Moreover, immigration benefit applicants may prefer to submit Form I-693 sometime following their underlying petition’s filing in order to better avoid possibly having to repeat the medical examination. When applicable, an applicant may also bring the signed medical examination to his or her interview, or wait until USCIS issues a Request for Evidence (RFE) asking for it. It has also been confirmed that Form I-693 medical examinations are not required as initial evidence at the time a Form I-485 adjustment of status application is filed.
Additional Notes Concerning What is Required in a Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record
More generally, a Form I-693 is considered valid if all of the following requirements are met:
The form is completed legibly and thoroughly (all the required items are addressed).
The form is signed and dated by the designated civil surgeon who conducted the medical examination.
The form is signed and dated by the applicant who was examined when the applicant is age fourteen or older. Legal guardians may sign if the individual in question is under age fourteen or mentally incapable.
When applicable, the form must be signed and dated by the physician(s) completing referral evaluations.
The form is valid. As of January 2nd, 2018, applicants are to use the 10/19/2017 edition of Form I-693.
The form is in a sealed envelope as detailed by its instructions.
Either the applicant or the civil surgeon has completed the section about the applicant's information.
The civil surgeon has verified the applicant's identity by means of a government-issued ID.
The applicant signed the certification only as instructed by the civil surgeon when instructed to do so.
The Form I-693 establishes that the applicant does not have a Class A medical condition and has complied with the vaccination requirements, or is granted a waiver.
Special rules may also apply to certain foreign nationals who were examined overseas, including certain nonimmigrant fiancé(e)s or spouses of U.S. citizens as under the K Visa benefit classification, spouses of lawful permanent residents as under the V Visa benefit classification, refugees, and asylee dependents. Foreign nationals of these natures are usually not required to repeat the full immigration medical exam in the U.S. in order to receive adjustment of status.
In further keeping with USCIS’s new policy guidance as well as U.S. immigration law’s dynamic nature, it is crucial for all individuals of whom a Form I-693 is required or may be required of in the future to be aware of these changes and sustain the effort necessary to remain up-to-date with USCIS and other immigration regulations. This is one of many regards in which competent legal counsel often proves invaluable.
If there are any questions concerning this USCIS policy update or assistance is desired with any other legal immigration matter, please contact us.