On December 9, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) changed a crucial condition for obtaining permanent residency or a green card in the United States.
On December 9, the government issued a policy notice temporarily removing a stumbling block in the mandatory — and much-feared — medical and immunisation examination for immigration purposes, which ensures that the applicant has no health concerns that would make them inadmissible to the United States.
All legal immigrants applying for adjustment of status to that of a lawful permanent residency must undergo a medical examination. Form I-693 is used to submit the results to USCIS.
During the Trump regime, the agency implemented a rule that states that Form I-693 is only legitimate if it is signed by a civil surgeon no more than 60 days before the petitioner files the underlying immigration benefit application.
The "60-Day-Rule," as it is known, has put a strain on immigrants during the Covid-19 pandemic due to recurrent processing delays, according to immigrant groups.
The “60-Day-Rule” will be temporarily lifted until September 30, 2022, according to the policy advisory.
“Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and related processing delays, USCIS has experienced delays in all aspects of operations. Applicants have also experienced difficulties beyond their control, including delays with completing the immigration medical examination,” the Department of Homeland Security agency recognised.
“To address these issues, USCIS is temporarily waiving the requirement that the civil surgeon’s signature is dated no more than 60 days before the applicant files the application for the underlying immigration benefit,” it added.
USCIS appoints civil surgeons to undertake immigration medical examinations and documents the data on Form I-693, which is valid for two years after the civil surgeon signs it, as long as the date of signature is within 60 days of filing for an immigration benefit like a green card.
However, because Covid-19 has exacerbated processing delays, Form I-693 is frequently no longer valid when it comes time to adjudicate an immigration benefit. As a result, applicants are required to obtain an updated medical report.
In a news release, USCIS claimed that the new temporary waiver permits “applicants to file their underlying application for an immigration benefit with a completed Form I-693, even though the civil surgeon signed more than 60 days before.”
According to the press statement, the temporary modification “would allow individuals to complete the application process without having to undergo another immigration medical examination if Form I-693 is otherwise valid.”
Former Form I-693 standards remain in effect, with applicants ensuring that the physician filling out the form on their behalf is a USCIS-designated physician or civil surgeon.
At the conclusion of the medical examination, the physician must be designated as a civil surgeon. Applicants can go to the USCIS website. To find a USCIS-designated physician, go to the Find a Doctor webpage.
Additionally, beginning Oct. 1, 2021, applicants must complete the Covid-19 vaccine series and show proof of immunisation to the civil surgeon in person before the civil surgeon may complete Form I-693.