When applying for your Adjustment of Status, you must include a sealed medical exam with your submission. The medical exam should be completed by a doctor authorized by USCIS, also known as a civil surgeon. The doctor will conduct a full medical exam, then complete and sign form I-693 documenting their findings. This form will be sealed in an envelope and returned to you to be submitted, still sealed, to USCIS.
These medical exams are only valid for a limited period of time. Previously, your medical exam needed to be submitted to USCIS within one year of the doctor’s signature on the form, which is likely the date of your exam, and was valid for 1 year from the date of submission to USCIS. This gave a maximum 2-year validity period to medical exams. However, USCIS has just released new guidelines changing the validity period of the medical exam, partly in response to mounting processing times for adjustment of status applications.
The new guidelines maintain the maximum 2-year validity period but redistribute the time allocations. All medical exams submitted after November 2018 will be allowed a longer validity period once the medical exam is submitted to USCIS but require applicants to obtain their medical exam closer to their date of filing.
Effective November 2018, an applicant’s medical exam must be signed by a doctor no more than 60 days before the application submission date. In other words, your exam must be completed in the 60 days before submission to USCIS. This is a decrease from the one year previously allowed.
However, your medical exam will now be valid for two years from the doctor’s signature on your I-693 form, which is an increase from the previously allowed one year. Although this time reallocation may seem inconsequential, the new regulations will allow your medical exam to remain valid through longer processing times, which are becoming the new normal, and hopefully preclude the need to obtain a new medical exam before your I-485 interview.
If you are considering submitting an Adjustment of Status application, or have questions regarding your medical exam, contact an experienced immigration attorney at Maged & Rost.