On March 31, 2023, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it had removed the requirement that a civil surgeon’s signature on Form I-693, Report of Immigration Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, be dated no more than sixty days before the date USCIS accepts it. Pursuant to this policy change, USCIS will now be able to adjudicate cases that had been marked as invalid due to a Form I-693 signed more than sixty days before filing.
Form I-693 is required for applicants seeking to adjust status from within the United States to become lawful permanent residents. The form is signed by a civil surgeon following a medical examination to establish that an applicant is not inadmissible to the United States on public health grounds. Prior to the change in policy, a completed Form I-693 remained valid for two years following the date the civil surgeon signed the form, so long as the Form I-693 was signed by the civil surgeon no more than sixty days before the adjustment of status application was submitted. This was commonly referred to as the “sixty-day rule.” Under the prior requirement, USCIS would have issued a Request for Evidence (RFE) for an otherwise valid Form I-693 signed more than sixty days before the filing of the adjustment of status application. Following a consensus among stakeholders that the rule created confusion and delays, USCIS has now removed this requirement permanently.
USCIS encourages applicants to submit completed medical examinations close to the time of filing the Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, because the Form I-693 is still valid for only two years from the date of the civil surgeon’s signature. If USCIS has not adjudicated the Form I-485 within the two-year period, applicants will receive an RFE for a new Form I-693.
Ogletree Deakins’ Immigration Practice Group will continue to monitor developments with respect to these and other policy changes and will post updates on the Immigration blog as additional information becomes available. Important information for employers is also available via the firm’s webinar and podcast programs.