The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently made a significant change in its policy regarding the civil surgeon signature requirement on Form I-693. USCIS announced that it has removed the 60-day rule for civil surgeon signatures on the medical examination report, Form I-693 and will now accept signed forms for adjudicative purposes for up to two years after the civil surgeon signed the form.
Before this change, a civil surgeon was required to sign Form I-693 within 60 days before an individual applied for an underlying immigration benefit, including Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. If the form was not signed within this timeframe, the applicant could be issued a Request for Evidence (RFE). This rule often caused significant delays and added costs for applicants who had to repeat the exam and resubmit the form.
The USCIS has stated that this policy change is a response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the availability of medical services. Many applicants had difficulty scheduling appointments with civil surgeons due to the pandemic’s disruptions, making it challenging to obtain a timely signature.
This change in policy is welcome news for applicants, as it will make the process of obtaining a civil surgeon signature less burdensome and less expensive. It will also help alleviate some of the delays caused by the pandemic’s impact on medical services.
It is essential to note that this policy change only applies to Form I-693 and not to other forms that require civil surgeon signatures. Applicants should still be sure to check the specific requirements for the forms they are submitting to avoid any unnecessary delays or complications in their application process.
In summary, the USCIS’s decision to remove the 60-day rule for civil surgeon signatures on Form I-693 is a positive development that will benefit many applicants. It will help streamline the process and reduce unnecessary costs and delays, especially during the pandemic’s disruptions.
Read the full press release at USCIS.
About the Author
Elizabeth L.A. Garvish founded Garvish Immigration Law Group, LLC in 2011 after practicing immigration law in small boutique firms, big law and nonprofits. Elizabeth is a frequent speaker and presenter on entrepreneurship and U.S. immigration topics around the world. She is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and serves on various national committees and is the Past Chair of the Georgia-Alabama Chapter of AILA. Elizabeth is also a certified member of the EO Global Speakers Academy.