On May 31, 2023, the Biden Administration eliminated the 60-day requirement of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record (Form I-693) signed by civil surgeons (the USCIS calls them surgeons, but they are medical doctors who handle the exams). These forms establish that the applicant is admissible to the United States on public health grounds. The window for a valid examination will now be two years from when the doctor signs the form. This policy change applies to Form I-693 associated with applications for underlying immigration benefits pending as of March 31, 2023.
Other important facts to know
There are other details to the process. Still, here are some common tips for applying:
- A Form I-693 is often submitted at the same time as a Form I-485, Application for Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, but it is not required. Still, those who do not include the I-693 avoid the need for the USCIS to send a Request for Evidence if it deems the additional paperwork necessary.
- Applicants must use either the 07/19/2022 or the 03/09/2023 versions of the Form I-693 if the surgeon signs the form after October 5, 2022 – all forms have edition dates at the bottom.
- The surgeon must give the signed Form I-693 to the applicant in a sealed envelope. Unsealed or altered forms are considered invalid. The applicant should include the form in their Adjustment of Status (Form I- 485), whether mailed or provided during an interview at a field office.
- It is best to get an I-693 near the time to apply while also allowing time to do laboratory testing or additional testing outlined in the Technical Instructions for the doctors from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Help is available
Applications for permanent residence or adjusting status often find it helpful to work with immigration law attorneys who keep up to date on changes in policy. Their experience and knowledge also give applicants peace of mind during stressful times.