Updated Medical Exam Validity for I-485 Applications for Adjustment of Status
Applicants for Employment-Based Adjustment of Status are required to submit a completed medical exam in order to be approved for lawful permanent residence status (the green card). The purpose of the medical exam is to establish that an applicant is not inadmissible on public-health grounds. USCIS currently recommends that Employment-Based applicants submit their completed medical exam (Form I-693) along with their I-485 application for efficient processing. Questions often arise regarding how long a medical exam remains valid.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic and related processing delays, USCIS required the medical exam to be signed by the civil surgeon no more than 60 days before the AOS filing date. In other words, when filing the medical exam along with the I-485 application, the medical must have been signed within the past 60 days. If it was signed more than 60 days before the I-485 application is received by USCIS, the medical would not be considered valid and a new medical exam would be requested by USCIS before the green card can be approved.
However, in order to ease processing delays and associated difficulties in timely completing the medical examination, USCIS began waiving this 60-day rule in December 2021. This meant that a medical exam signed more than 60 days ago could still be submitted with an I-485 application. Initially, the waiver was temporary and was set to expire on March 31, 2023. However, USCIS has now announced that the waiver will be permanent. Therefore, a medical exam will remain valid and can be accepted by USCIS for up to 2 years after the date the civil surgeon signed the form.
In other words, beginning March 31, 2023, a medical exam can be used as evidence that the person is not inadmissible on health-related grounds for 2 years from the date of the civil surgeon’s signature, regardless of when the underlying benefit application was submitted.
By: Emily Neumann
Emily Neumann is Managing Partner at Reddy & Neumann, P.C. with over 15 years of experience practicing US immigration law providing services to U.S. businesses and multinational corporations. Emily has helped transform the firm from a solo practice to Houston’s largest immigration law firm focused exclusively on U.S. employment-based immigration. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Central Michigan University and her Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Houston Law Center. Emily is a frequent speaker and has been quoted in Bloomberg Law, U.S. News & World Report, Inside Higher Ed, and The Times of India on various hot topics in immigration. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and Society for Human Resource Management.
Reddy & Neumann has been serving the business community for over 20 years and is Houston’s largest immigration law firm focused solely on US. Employment-based immigration. We work with both employers and their employees, helping them navigate the immigration process quickly and cost-effectively.