By Dev B. Viswanath, Esq.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is temporarily extending the validity period for Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, from two years to now four years due to COVID-19-related delays in processing.
USCIS may consider a completed Form I-693 as valid if:
- The civil surgeon’s signature is dated no more than 60 days before the applicant filed Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status;
- No more than four years have passed since the date of the civil surgeon’s signature; and
- A decision on the applicant’s Form I-485 is issued on or after Sept. 30, 2021.
The Agency has stated that “COVID-19 has caused processing delays and affected applicants’ ability to complete the required immigration medical examination.” Previously, USCIS considered a completed Form I-693 to retain its validity for two years after the date the civil surgeon signed, as long as the date of the civil surgeon’s signature was no more than 60 days before the applicant filed for adjustment of status.
USCIS Expands Partnership with Social Security Administration
USCIS announced that applicants filing for lawful permanent resident status are now able to apply for a Social Security number (SSN) or replacement card as part of the adjustment of status application process. Previously, these individuals had to apply for a Social Security number at a Social Security office. After approving Form I-485, in most cases USCIS will electronically transmit the data to the Social Security Administration. Upon receiving the data, the Social Security Administration will automatically assign an original SSN or issue a replacement card, as appropriate. This will effectively cut down on people struggling to get their social security numbers issued or modified.
USCIS has also announced that it is updating and revising a number of forms, including: 1) I-693, Immigration Medical; 2) I-485 Supplement J, Confirmation of Bona Fide Job Offer or Request for Job Portability Under INA Section 204(j); 3) Supplement A to Form I-485, Adjustment of Status Under Section 245(i); 4) Form I-485, Application for Adjustment of Status; and among others 5) Form I-131, Application for Travel Document.
USCIS is on track to approve more employment-based adjustment of status applications than it has since FY 2005. The Agency has prioritized employment-based adjustment of status applications during its processing and adjudication during this fiscal year. USCIS is making processing and resource allocation decisions to increase the pace of adjudications and limit the potential for employment-based visa numbers to go unused.