USCIS recently announced a couple of procedural changes to reduce processing times and expedite the green card process. Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination & Vaccination Record can now be submitted along with Form I-485, Adjustment of Status for a green card. The validity of Form I-693 has been extended to four years instead of the initial two-year validity period.
Earlier, the validity of the I-693 medical exams for I-485 cases filed after November 1, 2018 was as follows:
|Civil Surgeon’s Signature||I-693 Validity|
|No more than 60 days before applicant filed I-485 with USCIS||2 years from date civil surgeon signed I-693|
|After applicant filed I-485 with USCIS||2 years from date civil surgeon signed I-693|
|More than 60 days before applicant filed I-485 with USCIS||N/A – I-693 not valid at time applicant submits I-693 to USCIS|
Additionally, in order to expedite the green card process, USCIS has requested all green card applicants to submit the I-693 along with the I-485. If the I-485 has already been submitted and the applicant has received an RFE for I-693, the applicant is advised to submit it his earliest convenience, either through overnight, priority or expedited courier mail.
By doing this, USCIS hopes to approve maximum number of the 251,000 allocated green cards before the FY 2021 ends this September 30.
What Is Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination & Vaccination Record?
Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination & Vaccination Record is the results of a medical evaluation performed by a designated Civil Surgeon that establishes that the green card applicant is not inadmissible to the United States on public health grounds. The following 4 medical conditions are tested and reported on the I-693:
- Communicable disease of public health significance
- An immigrant’s failure to show proof of required vaccinations
- Physical or mental disorder with associated harmful behavior
- Drug abuse or addiction
IMPORTANT:Starting Oct 1, 2021, USCIS has made the Covid-19 vaccination mandatory for all green card applicants. So it is important that before you go in for your green card interview, you get the complete series of a WHO approved Covid vaccine, else you will be denied permanent residency in the US.
Form I-693 has to be submitted in a sealed envelope from the civil surgeon and by every individual green card applicant.
Form I-693: Why USCIS Wants You To Submit It ASAP For Your Green Card Processing
There are almost 251,000 green cards allotted for FY2021. And the fiscal year ends on September 30, 2021. In order to make sure every last eligible green card application if processed, USCIS will have to hasten the process of green card adjudications before the fiscal year ends. These adjustments to increase the validity period and avoid further delays due to RFE issuance, USCIS is making the above changes.
Effective Aug. 12, 2021, USCIS is temporarily extending the validity period for Form I-693 from two years to now four years. For decisions on Form I-485 issued on or before Sept. 30, 2021, USCIS may accept an otherwise valid Form I-693 if:
- The civil surgeon’s signature is dated no more than 60 days before the applicant filed Form I-485;
- No more than four years have passed since the date of the civil surgeon’s signature; and
- A decision on Form I-485 is issued on or before Sept. 30, 2021.
Previously, this Form I-693 could be submitted any time after the I-485, Adjustment of Status was submitted but before the adjudication of that immigration benefit. Many applicants even submitted the I-693 concurrently with the I-485.
If you have already submitted your I-485 and received an RFE to submit your medical reports, USCIS encourages you to submit your I-693 immediately to avoid any processing delays. This could be either through overnight, priority or expedited courier mail.
Follow the above steps to ensure your green card wait comes to end sooner than later.