COVID-19 Update: COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement for All Green Card Applicants Read More
All Green Card applicants, who receive their medical examination from either a Panel Physician or a Civil Surgeon on or after October 1, 2021, will need to show evidence of vaccination for COVID-19, or provide a valid reason why they should not be held to the new requirement. See Full Details
Immigration Lawyer Chicago/ Immigration Forms for U.S. Citizenship, Naturalization, and Admission/ Form I-693 Immigration Physical Exam – Instructions and When to Submit I-693
When you come to the United States—or if you are in the United States and are trying to adjust your status—you may need to get a medical exam. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) medical exam was put into place so that you can prove that you do not have any health conditions that would make you inadmissible to the United States.
On this page, we’ll review what a Form I-693 USCIS medical exam is and which steps you’ll need to take to complete your exam, making you admissible for entry to the United States.
The official title of Form I-693 itself is “Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record.” You will send your completed form to USCIS so that they can determine that you are not inadmissible to the United States. The USCIS medical exam is required to ensure that you meet the government standards for public health.
In order for your Form I-693 to be legitimate, a civil surgeon must approve and annotate your medical results on your physical form. We’ll discuss civil surgeons in more detail further down the page.
Form I-693 is applicable for multiple processes, including consular processing and adjustment of status, and is necessary to meet Special Immigrant Juveniles (SIJs) requirements. If you have questions about whether or not you need to fill out a Form I-693, contact your immigration attorney today
Having your Form I-693 approved means that you have met the standards that USCIS sets for individuals to safely enter the United States. Both you and your civil surgeon need to fill out the I-693 medical exam. For approval, your Form I-693 needs to show that:
For more information about the USCIS public health grounds, visit their policy manual here in Part B of Chapter 4.
As of August 12, 2021, USCIS has extended the validity period of Form I-693 because of the COVID-19 global pandemic. According to USCIS, the validity period of your signed Form I-693 is now four years after the civil surgeon signed your USCIS medical exam. Previously, Form I-693 was only valid for two years.
Because of the global pandemic, processing time has increased significantly. To make up for the delays, you now have up to four years for your medical exam form to be approved. However, the rule still remains that the approval can take up to four years given that your civil surgeon signed off on your Form I-693 less than or equal to 60 days prior to submitting your adjustment of status application.
In addition to these contingencies, your Form I-485 needs to have been issued on or before September 30, 2021. If you are applying for a green card, you may submit your Form I-693 along with your Form I-485. For more information on your green card and medical examination forms, speak with your immigration attorney right away.
There are two main types of doctors who are eligible to perform a medical exam and fill out your Form I-693: civil surgeons and panel physicians.
You will need to use a civil surgeon if you are already in the United States and are required to complete Form I-693. Typically, if you are in the U.S., you will be filing a Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. Civil surgeons are physicians that USCIS designates as qualified doctors to perform your medical examination. USCIS provides a list of designated civil surgeons that you may use.
If you live outside the U.S. and are applying from either your home country or abroad, then you will use a panel physician for your I-693 medical exam. Panel physicians are chosen by the Department of State as legitimate medical providers who may file your Form I-693 with you. If you are using a panel physician, it is most likely the case that you are immigrating through consular processing, not adjustment of status.
One part of the immigration medical Form I-693 is showing that you have the correct vaccinations to become a permanent resident of the United States. The latest list of vaccinations required to be in the U.S. are as follows:
Note that there could be other immunizations that may be required. Criteria are set by the Centers for Disease Control, which asses the requirements for vaccines.
When you schedule your Form I-693, be sure to remember that the validity period must be met. A qualified doctor needs to sign off no more than 60 days before you submit your visa application. Be sure to schedule your medical exam appointment around the date when you submit your visa application.
If you did have an examination and the 60 days have passed, you will have to bring it to your application interview and send it after you’ve filed your green card application.
If you are applying to become a permanent resident, you can actually file your Form I-693 at the same time as you submit your Form I-485. This process of concurrent filing is not required, but can be helpful in the long run to save time and to keep your application process concise by avoiding the need for a “Request For Evidence.” You may also avoid the need for an interview if USCIS decides they can make their final decision based on all of the evidence you have already submitted.
One example of such a circumstance is if you are planning your K-1 status adjustment. After you are married and going through your status adjustment, you can send in your Form I-693 with your application. When it comes to K-1 visas, you may have actually already had a medical examination during your K-1 interview. In this case, you still need to submit Form I-693 for your vaccination record.
You are also able to schedule your medical exam appointment after you file for your green card. In this case, your exam will be sent in after you submit your Form I-485 and/or bring your Form I-693 to your interview. However, with this method of submission, you will most likely need an interview. Again, if you file at the same time as your Form I-485, USCIS may decide that you do not need an interview.
Remember, if you submit after your green card, you currently have a validity period of four years instead of two because of USCIS’s temporary extension. If you need to have vaccines or other tests done, be sure to allow time for these tests to be completed.
If you are going through consular processing, then you will schedule your medical exam after your green card interview. The National Visa Center (NVC) will send you an appointment letter stating your green card interview date and you can then schedule your exam accordingly.
To find a civil surgeon, you can type your address into the USCIS Find A Doctor site. To find a panel physician abroad, you will need to get information about a qualified doctor from your country’s U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
Be sure to bring the following items with you to your exam:
During your medical exam, you will review all medical history. The doctor will also perform a physical exam that will include questions about the following:
Form I-693 is split into 11 sections. Both you and your doctor need to go through your Form I-693 together, as you both have specific instructions for the form. Be sure that the form is filled out legibly in black ink. It’s important to only sign the form if and when the civil surgeon instructs you to. You may want to fill out your portion of the form before your medical exam.
Your doctor will seal the envelope to submit to USCIS, but remember to get a copy of the completed form before the envelope is sealed. You will then submit the form after the examiner returns the envelope.
Submitting the actual USCIS Form I-693 is free. However, you will need to pay the physician rate, whatever that may be. Each physician has different rates. Speak with your immigration attorney about your best options. Figuring out the cost of a civil surgeon beforehand is usually beneficial.
The process of getting a green card can be both exciting and stressful. The experienced lawyers at Scott D. Pollock & Associates are here to answer any questions you may have about your I-693 form or any step in the immigration process. Contact us at 312.444.1940 or fill out an online contact form today!