A great USCIS update. Up until now, the medical exam which goes with the adjustment of status application should have a civil surgeon signature within 60 days of mailing the application. USCIS is temporarily amending this policy. So until September 2022 the 60-day policy is no longer valid.
Why is this update such great news?
Because it makes submitting the Adjustment of status application much easier. The medical exam have a date by a civil surgeon even outside of the 60-day period. I find this helpful for clients. Why? Because when clients start the adjustment of status application, they think they have all their ducks in a row and then rush to get their medical exam. However, oftentimes, there may be an unexpected issue.
What prevents sending an Adjustment of Status application expeditiously?
For example, a necessity for a joint sponsor, or unavailability of certain documents. Those delays make submitting the whole application package beyond the 60-day requirement. However, the medical is sealed and a copy not always available. Oftentimes, the adjustment of status application is submitted with a medical exam which outdates the 60-day requirement. So then, what happens is that USCIS sends a request for evidence (RFE) for a new medical. Receiving a RFE is never pleasant. It involves unnecessary stress on the clients, and it delays setting the matter for an interview and the issuance of a work permit.
How long is the medical valid for in general?
Once the civil surgeon signs the medical report, it is valid only for 2 years from the signature. So, until September 30, 2022 you can take your time in submitting the Adjustment of status application. But bear in mind that if the interview is set for over 2 years in the future, you may still need to get an updated medical and thus pay the medical exam fees twice!