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Other Non-Immigrant Visas

USCIS Updates I-693 Medical Exam Validity Period

USCIS announced this month that it has updated its guidance regarding the validity of Form I-693 medical exams, which are typically submitted in support of adjustment of status applications. Pursuant to the new policy, I-693 exams that were completed and signed by a civil surgeon on or after November 1, 2023 will be considered valid indefinitely. This means that a medical exam signed on or after this date can be submitted in support of an I-485 application at any time in the future, and can remain valid even if the application is pending for several years. USCIS notes that its officers retain the right to request a new or updated medical exam, in their discretion, if they have reason to believe there has been a change in the applicant’s health condition since the initial form was signed.

This policy change may result in fewer Requests for Evidence in the future for I-485 applicants who submit the exam with their initial filing, and whose applications remain pending for over two years due to processing delays and priority date retrogression. Furthermore, this policy allows individuals who anticipate filing their I-485 applications to prepare by obtaining the exam early; they can schedule appointments with civil surgeons and undergo the necessary vaccinations, if needed, well before their priority date becomes current, without fearing the exam’s validity will expire before the final adjudication of their I-485 application.

For individuals who obtained an I-693 exam before November 1, 2023, USCIS’s prior policy remains in place – these exams are considered valid for 2 years from the date of the civil surgeon’s signature on the form. If their I-485 application is pending beyond that date, these applicants should expect that they will still receive a Request for Evidence for the exam before the final adjudication of their adjustment of status.

By: Rebecca Chen

Rebecca Chen is a Partner at Reddy & Neumann. Her representation includes advising clients throughout the non-immigrant and immigrant visa application process, from initial filing, responding to various requests for evidence, and processing at overseas consulates. Her years of experience in the immigration field have made her a knowledgeable resource for complex business immigration matters.