Policy changes declared this week will apply to the medical and vaccination examination for immigration purposes, which ensures there are no health issues which would bar the applicant from the United States. These changes go into effect beginning November 1. The medical examination is a mandatory requirement for all foreigners who wish to file for adjustment to obtain permanent legal residency status. The results are submitted to USCIS through Form I-693, which must be signed by a designated civil surgeon.

Previously, a doctor was not required to sign the exam results within a strict time frame to the filing date of the application. This caused issues for many applicants because often, the I-693 had expired by the time their immigration benefit was adjudicated. This meant that the lawful person needed to obtain an updated medical report. According to the migration agency, the goal of the new policy is to “enhance operational efficiencies and reduce the number of requests to applicants for an updated Form I-693.”

Details on the new rule introduced in the USCIS Policy Manual Update are found below.

Form I-695 must be completed, signed, and sealed by a designated physician no later than 60 days before filing the underlying application for immigration benefit.

The form will remain valid for two years, beginning from the date the doctor signed it.

Immigration officers will be able request a new I-693 within the two-year period if there is reason to believe an applicant may be inadmissible to the United States on health-related grounds.

With the new rule resulting in fewer requests for updated Forms I-693, adjudication delays in the USCIS review process should be reduced.

Since the policy update introduces stricter deadlines, it is important that green card applicants take care to sufficiently plan for laboratory testing and any additional testing required before submitting the results of the medical exam, which must be signed by the doctor.