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Rebecca R. Cohen, Esq.
USCIS has extended the temporary waiver of the requirement that civil surgeons must sign Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, no more than 60 days prior to submission. The waiver took effect on December 9, 2021 and has been extended to March 31, 2023, to further ease processing delays and difficulties completing the immigration medical examination.
Despite this extension of the waiver, which provides more flexibility to applicants as to when to schedule their medical exam, USCIS encourages applicants to undergo the medical examination close to the time of filing the Form I-485, Adjustment of Status, because the Form I-693 is only valid for 2 years from the date of the civil surgeon’s signature. After the 2-year time frame, you must submit a new Form I-693 if USCIS has not yet adjudicated the Form I-485. Given the current backlogs for adjustment of status cases, this is a possibility for applicants.
While not required, USCIS recommends filing Form I-693 at the same time as Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status) is submitted to save time and avoid processing delays. One reason is that while some applicants intend to bring their completed Form I-693 to their interview, some applications may not require an interview. USCIS makes decisions to waive interviews on a case-by-case basis. By filing at the same time, this may also help avoid adjudication delays if USCIS decides that an applicant does not need to be interviewed. A second reason is that filing Form I-485 and Form I-693 at the same time may eliminate the need for USCIS to issue a Request for Evidence (“RFE”) to obtain the Form I-693.