The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) encourages employment-based adjustment (green card) applicants with approved I-140 petitions to submit their medical examinations. It is best to deliver the exams before the end of the fiscal year (FY) on September 30th, 2022. According to the USCIS, this helps ensure speedy processing for green cards and offers the best chance of receiving a favorable adjudication before the end of the current fiscal year.
This rush to process the maximum number of green cards stems from the COVID-19 pandemic and the many consular closures that followed. Due to these closures, consulates could not process many of these visas, meaning that a large surplus of these visas passed into FY 2022. USCIS states that this is roughly double the usual allotment of immigrant visas. It is committed to ensuring “as many available employment-based visas as possible” are used by FY 2022.
Unfortunately, USCIS has indicated that applicants have hampered these efforts by a lack of adequately completed Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record. These forms must be completed and submitted to demonstrate how the applicant is not disqualified based on public health grounds. As a result, the USCIS is attempting to identify applicants that lack the necessary Form I-693 and correct this.
In addition, USCIS reminds green card applicants to include a completed Form I-693 when they file. Applicants with approved I-140 petitions and a current priority date must also visit a civil surgeon to receive an approved Form I-693 to file their complete application. This step is significant for those cases transferred from a serviced office to a field office. However, USCIS also reminds applicants not to send medical examinations until they receive a formal request. The Form will remain valid for two years after the signature date of the civil surgeon.
Immigrant employees can offer an excellent way for employers to expand their labor pool, particularly during the current labor shortage. However, it is necessary to remember that documentation requirements can be complicated for these employees. This complication is all the more noticeable with the Form I-9. Fortunately, an electronic I-9 management system makes it easy to ensure uniform and accurate completion of these forms; they are securely stored, kept on hand for updates, and inspection ready whenever needed.
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