Validity of Medical Exams

In general, all applicants filing Form I-485 Adjustment of Status (AOS) must submit Form I-693, the standard form to report results of a medical examination to US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). This form, signed by a designated civil surgeon, determines admissibility to the United States and ensures that the foreign applicant is not inadmissible on grounds of public health.

Because there are often long delays for processing of adjustment of status applications, USCIS had previously extended the validity period of Form I-693 to more than one year from the date of the civil surgeon’s signature on AOS applications pending for more than one year. However, on June 1, 2014, a new policy went into effect reversing this longstanding policy of extension, with the “medical exam,” as it is often referred, only being valid for one year from the time of submission to USCIS. In other words, applicants for adjustment of status will be required to obtain an updated medical exam if their application remains pending for more than a year.

It is important to note that the new policy applies to long pending adjustments and therefore RFEs for new medical examinations will be issued shortly before anticipation that a case can be adjudicated to completion.  In fact as reported in our article, USCIS Issuing RFE for Expiring Medical Exams, our office has already started to receive RFEs for new medical exams.

Finally, although USCIS is debating the idea of eliminating the requirement of simultaneous I-693 and I-485 filings, no formal/legal changes have been made, as USCIS wants to avoid an influx of medical exams submitted through regular channels without an associated RFE attached to it, as this could cause confusion and ultimately even more delays.