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USCIS Advises Family-Based I-485 Applicants to Include I-693 Sealed Medical Reports at the Time of Filing to Help Speed Up Processing Time

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Our comment: In a recent meeting held between the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the USCIS informed AILA that it is expanding potential interview waivers for family-based adjustment of status applications.  Because of the potential waiver of interviews in these particular types of cases, USCIS has asked AILA to convey to their clients and applicants in general that the I-485 Adj. of Status applicant should include the Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record (sealed medical report), concurrently at the time of filing of the initial I-485 adjustment of status application.  By doing so, it will avoid a need for USCIS to issue a Request for Further Evidence (RFE), which would delay the USCIS’s processing and adjudication time.

While USCIS did not indicate to AILA what methods and factors the USCIS will be looking to use in order to determine which I-485 cases warrant a waiver of interviews, the USCIS did tell AILA that their determination can happen at several points in the adjudication process. 

As further reminder about the validity of the results of the Form I-693,  the USCIS had previously announced that it had extended the temporary waiver, from 9/30/22 to 3/31/23, of the “60-day rule” requiring that the civil surgeon’s signature on an otherwise valid Form I-693 be dated no more than 60 days before the applicant files the application for the underlying immigration benefit.

In light of the USCIS’s request made to AILA, we can only assume that the USCIS is trying to clear its unyielding case backlogs that have grown more severe in the recent few years.  One way to achieve that goal is to reduce the number of family-based adjustment of status interviews to be held at the local field offices around the country, especially for those cases with no outstanding issues. 

This is welcome news for many adjustment of status applicants who may be considered as eligible  for interview waiver.  The hope is that by submitting all supporting documents as well as the Form I-693 medical report (sealed) concurrently to USCIS, it will lead to faster adjudication times by USCIS.   Ultimately, we will all have to wait and see how this policy update will work for reducing actual I-485 processing time by USCIS officers.

Due to the ever changing developments in immigration law, we do encourage readers to contact our office so we can discuss your matter with more specificity and then assist you further. 

Pasricha & Patel’s Immigration Department has extensive experience in handling business and personal immigration matters. Our team is happy to speak with you on your specific issue.