We've all been there.
You've waited weeks and weeks for a doctor's appointment only to be told by the clinic that it needs to be rescheduled. Such occurrences have only been too common during the pandemic.
Such a situation is extremely frustrating for the average person, but for an immigrant trying to adjust their status to permanent resident a medical appointment delay means a delay in obtaining their green card. Among the many ways the COVID-19 pandemic has affected normal life is an unreliability in medical appointment scheduling, and it seems that the government is finally taking note.
This month USCIS announced a new policy alert - until September 30, 2022, the government is waiving its 60-day limitation for medical evaluation signatures on Form I-693s.
Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, is one of the documents that those wanting to adjust status to permanent resident have to file with their petition. The form is used to prove that an immigrant is not inadmissible to the country for certain health reasons, which are listed at § 212(a)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Normally (since the Trump administration), a petitioner had to have Form I-693 signed by a civil surgeon no earlier than 60 days before applying to adjust status, and the signature was good for two years. This caused many applicants to wait to get the medial examination and mail it in later or bring it to the interview so as not to risk the examination becoming expired. Now, petitioners will be able to benefit from a temporary waiver, benefiting petitions that have not been adjudicated, regardless of when the application was submitted or when the Form I-693 was signed.
This is great news for those with pending adjustment of status petitions as it means those waiting won't have to redo their medical examinations because of USCIS's delay. By now you have likely heard about the backlog that has jammed USCIS's output. These backlogs are the symptoms of an overwhelmed system that needs reform, and we are happy to see even small steps like this temporary waiver be taken. We hope it is the sign of more changes to come as this administration attempts to modernize and update its agencies.
If you have questions about a pending USCIS petition or need help to adjust your immigration status, please reach out to us at (757) 422-8472, or send us a message on our website. You can also schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys by clicking on this link.