On Dec. 9, 2021, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will temporarily waive the requirement that the civil surgeon sign Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record within 60 days of filing an application for the underlying immigration benefit. This temporary waiver is effective immediately and will continue until Sept. 30, 2022.

Previously, USCIS required that civil surgeons or USCIS designated physicians sign the Form I-693 within 60 days of filing applications requiring the medical examination, such as the Form I-485, Application for Adjustment of Status to Permanent Resident. Medical examinations that were signed more than 60 days before filing were deemed expired by USCIS, and applicants would have to obtain and pay for another examination.

USCIS is enacting this temporary waiver to assist applicants adversely affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent processing delays. This waiver will provide more flexibility with filing timeline restraints, as it allows the submission of properly executed medical examinations with applications, even if the civil surgeon executed the forms more than 60 days prior to filing for the immigration benefit.

Additionally, the temporary waiver seeks to benefit Afghan nationals evacuated under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) effort, Operation Allies Welcome, as evacuated Afghan nationals who have completed immigration medical examinations at government-run facilities were not able to apply for adjustment of status within 60 days of the completed examination.

Previous requirements for the Form I-693 remain in place, as applicants must ensure that the physician completing Form I-693 on their behalf is a USCIS-designated physician or civil surgeon. The physician must be designated as a civil surgeon at the time of the completion of the medical examination. Applicants can visit the USCIS Find a Doctor webpage to find a USCIS-designated physician. Furthermore, effective Oct. 1, 2021, applicants must complete the COVID-19 vaccine series and provide documentation of vaccination to the civil surgeon in person before the civil surgeon can complete the Form I-693.