USCIS clarifies new policy on I-693 medical exam validity

16 Jun 14

UNITED STATES

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has clarified its new policy on the validity period of Form I-693 Medical Exams required for adjustment of status applications.

The new policy, explained in a public engagement by USCIS last week, applies to applications adjudicated on and after June 1, regardless of whether they were filed before that date. Under the new policy, Form I-693 now expires one year after the form is received by USCIS. In addition, the policy imposes a filing deadline: applicants must file Form I-693 less than one year from the date of the medical exam.

Applicants whose Form I-693 expires and must obtain a new medical exam must also get new vaccinations.

The three ways to submit Form I-693 are:

  1. By mail together with the I-485 application for adjustment.
  2. By mail after a Request for Evidence (RFE).
  3. In person during an interview at a USCIS field office.

In addition, applicants may submit Form I-693 before an RFE is issued or an interview is scheduled.

Submitting Form I-693 together with the I-485 will tend to streamline the application process, but may also make it more likely that the applicant must repeat a medical exam, whereas applicants who file Form I-693 before an RFE or interview is scheduled are less likely to have to repeat a medical exam, but may face delays in USCIS matching the form to their adjustment of status application. Therefore, applicants opting to file a medical exam as a stand-alone mailing (without Form I-485 or RFE) should include their Alien Registration Number.

BAL Analysis: USCIS held the engagement to provide guidance and hear feedback. One way to alleviate the potentially thousands of costly repeat medical exams under this new policy would be for USCIS to limit the new policy to applications filed after June 1, rather than those it adjudicates after June 1. Additionally, USCIS currently does not a have a dedicated address to accept repeat medical exams that are submitted without an I-485 or RFE, so delays and confusion may occur.

Copyright © 2016 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact copyright@balglobal.com.