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  • Writer's pictureThamys Gaertner

USCIS Announces Extension to Civil Surgeon Signature Requirement


In general, those applying for immigration benefits while in the United States must use Form I-693 to show they are free from any conditions that would render them inadmissible under the health-related grounds. The following requirements must always be met regarding any Form I-693 submitted to USCIS:

  • The form must be completed legibly;

  • All required parts of the form must be completed;

  • The form must be signed and dated by the designated civil surgeon who conducted the medical examination;

  • The form must be signed and dated by the applicant who was examined;

  • If applicable, the form must be signed and dated by the physician(s) completing referral evaluations;

  • The form must still be valid; and

  • The form must be in a sealed envelope as detailed in the form’s instructions.

Normally, USCIS considers a completed Form I-693 to retain its validity for 2 years after the date the civil surgeon signed, if the date of the civil surgeon’s signature is no more than 60 days before the applicant filed the application for the underlying immigration benefit. This is commonly referred to as the “60-day rule.”


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related processing delays, USCIS has experienced significant delays in processing applications. Applicants have also experienced difficulties beyond their control, including delays with completing the immigration medical examination. To address these issues, USCIS announced a temporary waiver of the requirement that the civil surgeon’s signature be dated no more than 60 days before the applicant files the application for the underlying immigration benefit, effective December 9, 2021, until September 30, 2022.


USCIS is now extending this temporary waiver through March 31, 2023, to further ease processing delays and associated difficulties in timely completing the immigration medical examination. This waiver applies to all Forms I-693 submitted with applications for underlying immigration benefits that have not been adjudicated, regardless of when the application was submitted or when the Form I693 was signed by the civil surgeon.


Conclusion


We still encourage you to undergo the immigration medical examination close to the time you file your Form I-485, because your Form I-693 is only valid for 2 years from the date of the civil surgeon’s signature. After the 2-year time frame, you must submit a new Form I-693 if we have not adjudicated your Form I-485.


To schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys and discuss your questions about the medical exam for a permanent residence application, please click HERE.

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