On October 16, 2018, USCIS announced that it was updating its policy guidance regarding the period of validity of a Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, to reflect longer processing times for adjustment of status applications. The updated policy is effective for all Form I-693s filed before November 1, 2018.
The update provides that a Form I-693 is valid only when:
- A civil surgeon signs the form no more than 60 days before the date an applicant files the application for the underlying immigration benefit; and
- USCIS adjudicates the application within two years from the date of the civil surgeon’s signature.
Before November 1, 2018, Form I-693 retained its evidentiary value as long as it was submitted to USCIS within one year of the civil surgeon’s signature and USCIS issued a final decision on the underlying immigration benefit application within a year of the Form I-693’s submission to USCIS. This policy meant that the Form I-693 retained its evidentiary value for a maximum period of two years. The new policy essentially realigns this two-year period to allow for a longer period of validity but requires applicants to obtain the medical examination closer to (or after) the date of filing.
A completed Form I-693 submitted to USCIS before November 1, 2018 remains valid if:
- The civil surgeon signs Form I-693 more than 60 days before the applicant files the underlying benefit application with USCIS, but the applicant submits Form I-693 to USCIS no more than one year after the civil surgeon signed Form I-693; and USCIS issues a decision on the underlying benefit application no more than one 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 underlying benefit application with USCIS; and USCIS issues a decision on the underlying benefit application no more than two 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 benefit application with USCIS; and USCIS issues a decision on the underlying benefit application no more than two years after the date of the civil surgeon’s signature.
In all cases, a Form I-693 submitted to USCIS more than one year after the date of the civil surgeon’s signature is insufficient for evidentiary purposes as of the time of its submission to USCIS.
Timing of the Submission of the Medical Examination Report
The Policy Manual confirms that applicants may submit the Form I-693 medical examination report to USCIS either:
- Concurrently with the immigration benefit application; or
- At any time after filing the immigration benefit application but before USCIS finalizes adjudication of that application. If not submitted simultaneously with the immigration benefit application, applicants may bring the medical examination report to an interview or wait until USCIS issues an RFE requesting the medical examination report.
Similarly, the Form I-485 instructions currently indicate:
You are NOT required to submit Form I-693 at the time you file your adjustment application, but may do so if you wish. Because of the time-limited validity of Form I-693, you may choose to submit your Form I-693 after you file your Form I-485. You may also submit Form I-693 in person at an interview in a USCIS field office, if an interview is required. By waiting to submit Form I-693, you may avoid having to repeat the immigration medical examination.
General Requirements for Form I-693 Medical Examinations
The following requirements must always be met regarding any Form I-693 submitted to USCIS:
- The form must be completed legibly;
- All required parts of the form must be completed;
- The form must be signed and dated by the designated civil surgeon who conducted the medical examination;
- The form must be signed and dated by the applicant who was examined
- For applicants age 14 or older: The applicant must sign Form I-693. However, a legal guardian may sign for a mentally incompetent person.
- For applicants under age 14: Either the applicant, a parent, or legal guardian may sign the Form I-693. The officer should not reject the form as improperly completed if only the applicant, parent, or guardian signs.
- If applicable, the form must be signed and dated by the physician(s) completing referral evaluations;
- The form must still be valid (effective Jan. 2, 2018, applicants must use the 10/19/2017 edition of Form I-693);
- The form must be in a sealed envelope as detailed in the form’s instructions;
- The applicant or the civil surgeon may complete the section about the applicant’s information;
- The civil surgeon must always verify the applicant’s identity by requiring a government-issued ID;
- The applicant must sign the certification only when instructed by the civil surgeon. By signing the form, the applicant attests that he or she consented to the medical examination and that any information provided in relation to the medical examination is truthful;
- 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 apply to certain foreign nationals who were examined overseas, including certain nonimmigrant fiancé(e)s or spouses of U.S. citizens (K visa), spouses of lawful permanent residents (V visa), refugees, and asylee dependents. Such foreign nationals usually do not need to repeat the full immigration medical exam in the United States for purposes of adjustment of status.
Source: AILA Doc. No. 19021540.