USCIS Eliminates the 60-Day Rule for Medical Exams for Green Card Applicants

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced last month that the required medical exams for green card applications no longer have to be performed 60 or fewer days before the green card application itself (Form I-485) is filed.

All people who apply for a green card through adjustment of status by filing an I-485 are also required to undergo a medical exam by a USCIS-designated civil surgeon. This is done to establish that an applicant is not inadmissible to the United States on public health/vaccination grounds. The longstanding 60-day rule that had been in place required the Report of Immigration Medical Examination and Vaccination Record (Form I-693) to be signed and dated by the civil surgeon no more than 60 days before the filing of the applicant’s green card application (although this was temporarily suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic). The problem was that many applications were failing to adhere to this timeline; in those cases, the USCIS would issue the applicant a Request for Evidence (RFE). In turn, the applicant would have to begin the process again by booking a new medical exam, getting the requisite signature and submitting a new Form I-693.

New Changes About the Green Card Exam

With the 60-day rule removed, the medical form will be valid for two years from the date of the signature. Applicants are still encouraged to submit their medical form in a timely way, given that the I-485 Application can take time to get approved. But this new more relaxed timeline stands to benefit all involved.

How Does The New Green Card Health Check Timeline Help Everyone?

The 60-day rule had caused confusion and delays. As USCIS said in a press release: “While the 60-day rule was intended to enhance operational efficiency and reduce the need to request updated Forms I-693 from applicants, in practice these efficiencies have not been realized.”

The new efficiencies gained with the change in rule include more flexibility for green card applicants who will have more time to search for a qualified civil surgeon as well as a reduction in the need for repeat medical exams and the delays caused by them.

Consultation With An Immigration Attorney

With the new changes around the medical examination for green card applicants, immigrants are encouraged to seek legal guidance on how this update may positively impact their ability to be granted permanent resident status. At Reeves Immigration Law Group, we provide an individualized approach to all our cases to make sure your needs are properly met. Our team of attorneys, many of whom are certified by the State Bar of California as Legal Specialists in Immigration and Nationality Law, will ensure you advised correctly and efficiently at every step of your naturalization process. Contact us today to learn more about how the changes to the 60-day rule may benefit you.


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