Immigration Policy Alert: USCIS Announces New Medical Exam Validity Period for Green Card Applicants Starting November 1, 2018

Generally, all applicants for adjustment of status to permanent residence (I-485 green card) must submit a Form I-693 medical examination report, which is completed by  USCIS approved physicians (“civil surgeon”)  in the United States. On October 16, 2018, the USCIS announced a new policy about the validity period for a medical examination report (Form I-693).  

For many years, the I-693 form was valid indefinitely as long as it was filed within one year of the civil surgeon’s signature date.   In 2014, the USCIS changed its policy, restricting the validity period to one year of civil surgeon’s signature regardless of when it was submitted to the USCIS. Because green card processing can take more than one year, this I-693 form policy often required applicants to get new medical exams before the green card application was approved.

As of November 1, 2018, the I-693 form is valid only if it is submitted to the USCIS no more than 60 days after it was  signed by a civil surgeon and the USCIS issues a decision on the green card application no more than two (2) years after the date the civil surgeon signed Form I-693.  This policy applies to I-693 forms submitted on or after November 1, 2018.  

An I-693 form submitted to the USCIS before November 1, 2018 will be valid if it meets any one of the following requirements:

  • The civil surgeon signs Form I-693 more than 60 days before the applicant files the green card application with USCIS, but the applicant submits Form I-693 to USCIS no more than 1 year after the civil surgeon signed Form I-693; and USCIS issues a decision on the green card application no more than 1 year after the date the applicant submitted Form I-693 to USCIS.
  • The civil surgeon signs Form I-693 no more than 60 days before the applicant files the green card application with USCIS; and USCIS issues a decision on the green card application no more than 2 years after the date of the civil surgeon’s signature.
  • The civil surgeon signs Form I-693, and the applicant submits Form I-693, after the applicant files the green card application with USCIS; and USCIS issues a decision on the application no more than 2 years after the date of the civil surgeon’s signature.

Applicants always have the option to submit the I-693 form at the time of the I-485 interview. As always, current and future I-485 green card applicants need to carefully plan the medical exam submission with their attorneys.  

This information is provided as an educational service. Consult with an attorney for your specific circumstances.  For a consultation or comprehensive evaluation of your immigration options, you are invited to call me at 214-472-2161, complete my contact form, or visit my websites at www.badmuslaw.com and  www.physicianimmigration.com.

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