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The Immigration Observer

USCIS Removes 60-Day Rule for Form I-693, Medical Examination

April 03, 2023

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the removal of the requirement that the civil surgeon’s signature on the Form I-693, Report of Immigration Medical Examination and Vaccination Record be dated within 60 days before an applicant files the application for the underlying immigration benefit. The change is effective immediately and applies to all Forms I-693 associated with applications for underlying immigration benefits pending as of March 31, 2023, regardless of when the application was filed or when the civil surgeon signed the Form I-693.

As background, noncitizens applying for certain immigration benefits while in the United States are required to file Form I-693 to show that they are free from any health-related grounds of inadmissibility. Under the “60 day rule” USCIS considered a properly completed Form I-693 valid for two (2) years after the date the civil surgeon signed the form, as long as the form was signed no more than 60 days before the filing of the application for immigration benefit.

In response to USCIS’ internal processing delays and the COVID-19 pandemic, USCIS waived the 60-day rule requirement beginning December 9, 2021.

On March 31, 2023 USCIS announced that it will permanently remove the requirement that the civil surgeon sign Form I-693 no more than 60 days before the applicant files the underlying application. The 60 day rule was intended to enhance USCIS efficiency and reduce the need to request updated Form I-693 from applicants. However, applicants, civil surgeons, USCIS officers, federal partners, and other stakeholders have consistently expressed concern that, in reality, the intended efficiencies have not been realized.

In addition to removing the 60-day rule, the new policy also clarifies that officers should review the Form I-693 for compliance with the procedures and requirements outlined in the Technical Instructions for Civil Surgeons that were in effect as of the date of the civil surgeon’s signature unless otherwise specified by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Officers should not issue a Request for Evidence (RFE) for the applicant to meet any requirements that did not apply as of the date the civil surgeon signed the Form I-693. The policy update also clarifies the process for responding to a Form I-693-related RFE.

All changes are contained in the USCIS Policy Manual, Volume 8, Part B, Chapter 4.

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