On October 16, USCIS issued a new policy guideline for foreign nationals submitting a medical exam with Adjustment of Status applications. Form I-693, otherwise known as immigration medical exams, are required by USCIS to determine if an applicant is inadmissible to the United States for health reasons. Before the new policy was put into place, Form I-693 medical exams were only valid for one year.
While the new policy guideline extends the validity of Form I-693 to two years, applicants should take note that the medical exam must have been performed within sixty days of filing the applicant’s Adjustment of Status application. If a medical exam is performed more than sixty days before the Adjustment of Status application is filed, the medical exam will no longer be valid. USCIS indicated in this policy update that the new guidelines are effective for all new and pending I-485 Adjustment of Status applications.
The advantage of this new policy update is that a medical exam submitted with an Adjustment of Status is less likely to expire while the application is still pending. Before the validity period of the medical exam was extended from one year to two, permanent residency applications were often delayed due to expired medical exams. Since the medical exam must be valid at the time of adjudication, expired medical exams often caused Requests for Evidence (RFEs) asking for a valid medical exam, which in turn imposed unnecessary and expensive return trips to a civil surgeon for permanent residency applicants. In the new policy update, USCIS cites improvements to operational efficiencies and a reduction in Requests for Evidence as the primary reasons for increasing the validity period of medical exams.