In response to an inquiry from AILA, the USCIS has updated its website to clarify that: if an I-485 applicant receives a Request for Evidence (“RFE”) for a new I-693 medical exam because the I-693 on file with USCIS is over two years old, but the applicant’s I-693 on file with USCIS is valid under the temporary extension to four years and they otherwise meet the requirements, then the applicant should respond to the RFE “by citing, printing out or otherwise mentioning this policy alert.”
Please note that, this temporary extension of the validity period of the I-693 medical exam is limited to I-485 applications adjudicated on or before September 30, 2021. USCIS has not indicated whether they intend to extend this temporary extension past September 30. It is anticipated that USCIS will return to the two-year validity policy on October 1, 2021.
As reported previously, USCIS is attempting to adjudicate as many adjustment of status applications as possible before the end of the fiscal year. USCIS provided advance notice to some I-485 applicants via text, email and/or phone call that an RFE would be issued for a completed I-693, so that the applicants would be able to respond with the completed I-693 as soon as possible upon receipt of the RFE. I-485 applicants would be well advised to wait until they receive the RFE to send any necessary I-693 to USCIS, as the RFE may be requesting more than just the I-693, and the RFE will include the proper submission instructions and correct USCIS office address for the filing (e.g., local office or service center).
Of particular concern are employment-based (“EB”) I-485 applications, where any unused employment-based immigrant visa numbers cannot be re-allocated for the next government fiscal year. As such, an EB I-485 applicant whose priority date is current or will be current in September 2021 under the Final Action Dates, who has yet to submit a I-693 or whose I-693 on file with USCIS will not benefit from the temporary extension to four years, would be well advised to complete their medical examination now so that they will be able to respond with the I-693 as soon as possible upon receipt of the RFE.
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