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USCIS changes medical examination guidance for Afghans

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2022 | Aslyum, Immigration Law

The United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on February 1, 2022, that it was updating its medical examination requirements for Afghans seeking adjustment of their status after arriving under Operation Allies Welcome (OAW). Effective immediately, they will not need to repeat their medical examination if they completed one conducted by a USCIS-designated civil surgeon before arriving in the U.S. This also avoids the need to re-fill out Form I-693.

The requirements for OAW status adjustments

The conditions for not repeating these procedures are:

  1. The initial examination results are in their A-File, and there was no report of a Class A medical condition.
  2. The examination by the panel physician was within four years of filing to adjust their status.
  3. There is no evidence that the applicant contracted a Class A medical condition since entering the United States.

Applicants must still meet all vaccination requirements that are conditions of their parole, including MMR, polio and COVID-19. All AOW arrivals, whether U.S. citizens, permanent residents or Afghan nationals, are also tested for COVID-19.

Background on OAW

An estimated 76,000 Afghan nationals were evacuated during and after the U.S. pullout from Afghanistan as part of OAW. They are currently undergoing resettlement efforts spearheaded by the Department of State and coordinated with 290 local resettlement affiliates.

Individuals and organizations with questions about screenings, vetting and changes of status can consult with an attorney well-versed in U.S. immigration laws. They understand the complicated processes and provide valuable and up-to-date guidance to their clients.