USCIS recently removed the civil requirement making it necessary for the civil surgeon to sign the report of immigration medical examination and vaccination record typically required within 60 days of the date of application for the underlying immigration benefit. Form I-693 can now be submitted up to two years after the civil surgeon signs it. There was a temporary rule issued by USCIS in December 2021 modifying the requirement; this new policy is permanent.

Details on the New Policy

The new policy extends the validity of civil surgeon signatures on Form I-693 and applies to both new and previously filed cases. As a result, if a pending case has a Form I-693 with a civil surgeon’s signature that is older than 60 days at the time of filing, it will not be considered invalid anymore. Therefore, the USCIS will not request new medical examination evidence (RFE), since the form I-693 now remains valid for up to two years from the date the civil surgeon signed it.

If an applicant’s immigrant category priority date retrogresses during the processing of their application for adjustment of status (Form I-485), it can cause a delay in the processing time. In such cases, the initial validity of the I-693 form included with the application may expire before the USCIS resumes processing the I-485. As a result, the USCIS is required to issue an RFE, requesting a new I-693 from the applicant, which causes unnecessary delays and additional expenses.

However, the new policy now extends the validity of an applicant’s I-693 form for two years from the date of the civil surgeon’s signature, reducing the chances of an RFE being issued on this matter. This will ultimately minimize delays and expenses for adjustment applicants.

How We Can Help

We anticipate this updated policy to alleviate some of the burden of submitting documents to USCIS by extending the validity period. If you have questions about how this new policy change affects your current or previously filed case, please feel free to reach out to our team! 

Tags: medical exam