Exciting news for adjustment of status applicants filing their green card applications! On August 12, 2021, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the agency will be temporarily extending the validity period of medical examination (known as Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record), from two years to now four years due to COVID-19 related delays in processing applications. For those who are unaware, a sealed medical examination signed by a USCIS authorized civil surgeon on Form I-693 is a required component to receive lawful permanent resident status.
Who Will Benefit from this New Policy?
Effective immediately, USCIS will extend your Form I-693 medical examination if all of the following is true:
- The civil surgeon’s signature on the medical examination (Form I-693) is dated no more than 60 days before the applicant filed Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status;
- No more than four years have passed since the date of the civil surgeon’s signature on Form I-693; and
- A decision on the applicant’s Form I-485 is issued on or before Sept. 30, 2021.
Why is the validity of the medical exam being extended?
According to USCIS, this change is being made temporarily due to COVID-19 related processing delay that have affected the ability of many applicants to complete the required immigration medical examination. Previously, USCIS considered a completed Form I-693 to retain its validity for two years after the date the civil surgeon signed, as long as the date of the civil surgeon’s signature was no more than 60 days before the applicant filed for adjustment of status. Now the validity of the medical examination Form I-693 is being extended to four years (see the criteria above).
USCIS also revealed that it will be approving a record number of employment-based adjustment of status applications, with more approvals than it has issued since FY 2005. The agency has prioritized the processing and adjudication of employment-based adjustment of status applications during this fiscal year. The agency vows to continue to make processing and resource allocation decisions to increase the pace of adjudications and limit the potential for employment-based visa numbers to go unused.