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USCIS waives 60-day Civil Surgeon Signature Rule

As a way to hasten the adjustment of status for immigrants in the United States and lessen USCIS backlogs, medical evaluation forms will no longer be required to be dated within 60 days of a petition under a new temporary signature waiver valid until September 2022.

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    The Signature Waiver on the Medical Exam

    Effective as of December 9th, 2021 to September 30th, 2022, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will no longer be required that the civil surgeon’s signature on Form I-693 (Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record) be dated within 60 days before filing for permanent residence in the United States or for any other immigration benefits.

    Before this waiver took place on December 9th, any Form I-693 that was signed more than 60 days before filing was immediately disqualified and classified as invalid, causing many applicants to be forced to pay and obtain another medical examination. The temporary waiver that is effective immediately is intended to aid in the processing of applications (particularly those for green cards) and help lessen the ever-increasing backlogs and waiting times at the USCIS.

    As part of the application process for immigrant visas, all applicants are required to undergo a mandatory medical examination complete with receiving the necessary vaccinations before they enter the United States. This medical exam and vaccinations must be conducted and signed off by a certified physician. If an applicant is in the United States and would like to adjust their status and apply for a green card, the medical examinations must be performed by a civil surgeon who has been chosen by the USCIS.

    vaccinations

    Why the waiver is needed

    The ’60-Day-Rule’ of a civil surgeon signature on the medical evaluation form created another immigration hurdle for those applicants in the United States who wished to adjust their status and/or apply for another immigration benefit.

    Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the USCIS has since faced additional delays in both processing and operations, creating a massive backlog in applications as a result. In addition, applicants have faced similar obstacles including delays in completing their medical examinations. As a result, most medical forms were deemed invalid by the time they were finally processed causing further delays and complications.

    This waiver will also greatly aid all the Afghan nationals who were evacuated under the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) efforts in July and August of 2021 and who are undergoing adjustment of status while in the United States.

    What are the rules for the medical exam signature?

    Applicants within the United States who are required to complete and submit Form I-693 must have their medical evaluation signed by either a USCIS-designated physician or civil surgeon. The signature is no longer required to be dated within 60 days of the application however it must be dated no longer than 2 years old. This rule applies to dependent applications as well whose medical evaluation forms will need to be dated no more than 2 years at the time of petition.

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