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Medical Exam Submission; Has it Actually Changed?

Oct26
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Medical Exam Submission; Has it Actually Changed?

Starting November 1, 2018, USCIS will require that an Application for Adjustment of Status to Permanent Resident (Form I-485) or other immigration benefits which require the establishment of admissibility in relation to health-related grounds, be filed with the Form I-693 Medical Examination and Vaccination Record that has been signed by the Designated Civil Surgeon no more than 60 days prior to filing.  This new policy will extend the validity of the submitted Form I-693 to two years.  The hope is that the necessity for requesting a new exam will be reduced or eliminated by the longer validity.

Under the new policy, the Civil Surgeon’s signature must be obtained no more than 60 days prior to filing or after the filing of the benefit request. The filing of the application for the benefit without the medical exam report is still allowed and so long as USCIS issues a decision within 2 years of the date of the Civil Surgeon’s signature, the medical exam remains valid for the adjudication of the benefit.

Due to the prior policy of the expiration of medical exams at one year from issuance, many applicants would not submit the medical exam with the original filing and would submit it at the interview for the benefit sought.  This practice ensured that the medical exam was current and unexpired at the time of final adjudication.

For those who have filed prior to November 1, 2018, the prior one-year policy will remain in effect.  That is that the exam was valid if submitted within 1 year of the Civil Surgeon’s signature and USCIS issued a decision within one year of the receipt of the medical exam.  

For those filing after the effective date, USCIS indicates that it will accept the Form I-693 if it meets any of the following:

  • Civil Surgeon signs more than 60 days prior to the filing of an application and the exam is submitted within 1 year of Civil Surgeon’s signature and USCIS issues the decision within 1 year of receipt.
  • Civil Surgeon signs no more than 60 days prior to the filing of the application and USCIS issues the decision no more than 2 years after the date of the Civil Surgeon’s signature.
  • Civil Surgeon signs and the applicant submits the medical exam after the filing of the of the application and USCIS issues a decision no more than 2 years after the date of the Civil Surgeon’s signature.

In reality, the submission of the exam has not changed but an applicant should still be aware of the date that the medical exam was completed to ensure that they will not have to obtain a new exam.  Should you have questions about your case and the submission of your medical exam, please call our offices.

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