U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) plays a significant role in the processing of employment-based visas, and we want to ensure we use as many available visas as possible in fiscal year (FY) 2022, which ends on Sept. 30, 2022.
We urge anyone within the United States who may be eligible for an employment-based adjustment of status to note these important reminders regarding Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record:
- If you are planning to file an adjustment of status application, be sure to include a valid Form I-693.
- If you have a pending Form I-485, Adjustment of Status Application, please do not send an unsolicited Form I-693 to USCIS. We are proactively identifying employment-based adjustment of status applications with available visas that lack a valid Form I-693 and are directly contacting applicants to request that form.
- If you know that your previously filed Form I-485 does not have a valid Form I-693, your underlying petition is approved, and a visa is available to you, it will help USCIS use the available visas and adjudicate your application if you visit a civil surgeon and have a valid Form I-693 on hand when we send the request to you.
- A Form I-693 is valid for two years from the date that the civil surgeon signs the form.
For more information, visit our new Fiscal Year 2022 Employment-Based Adjustment of Status FAQs.
Information on this new streamlined process to welcome Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine can be found here:
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has received enough electronic registrations during the initial registration period to reach the fiscal year (FY) 2023 H-1B numerical allocations (H-1B cap), including the advanced degree exemption (master’s cap). We randomly selected from among the registrations properly submitted to reach the cap. We have notified all prospective petitioners with selected registrations that they are eligible to file an H-1B cap-subject petition for the beneficiary named in the applicable selected registration.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced an extension of the flexibility in complying with requirements related to Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, due to COVID-19.
This temporary guidance was set to expire August 31, 2021. Because of ongoing precautions related to COVID-19, DHS has extended the Form I-9 requirement flexibility policy until December 31, 2021.
See the original ICE news release from March 23, 2020 for more information on how to obtain, remotely inspect, and retain copies of the identity and employment eligibility documents to complete Section 2 of Form I-9. Please also consult ICE’s guidance for clarification on this provision.
E-Verify participants who meet the criteria and choose the remote inspection option should continue to follow current guidance and create cases for their new hires within three business days from the date of hire. Please see COVID-19 webpage for more information.
The entire vaccine series (1 or 2 doses depending on formulation) must be completed in addition to the other routinely required vaccinations. Please go to https://www.cdc.gov/immigrantrefugeehealth/civil-surgeons/covid-19-technical-instructions.html for details.
Charlie does not expect retrogression in any of the Employment-Based categories in FY2022. If there needs to be a retrogression, he does not expect it to occur until last quarter of the year.
He hopes to resume estimates of coming visa availability in the October or November Visa Bulletin.
USCIS issued good news on Medical Exam validity today (8/12/2021)
USCIS is on track to approve more employment-based adjustment of status applications than it has since FY 2005. We have prioritized employment-based adjustment of status applications during every step of its processing and adjudication during this fiscal year. We continue to make processing and resource allocation decisions to increase the pace of adjudications and limit the potential for employment-based visa numbers to go unused.
If you are applying for adjustment of status to that of a lawful permanent resident with USCIS (also known as applying for a Green Card), please file Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, together with Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. Doing so may eliminate the need for us to issue a Request for Evidence (RFE) and helps avoid adjudication delays.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related processing delays, USCIS has experienced delays in all aspects of operations. Applicants have also experienced difficulties beyond their control, including delays with completing the immigration medical examination. To address these issues, USCIS is temporarily extending the validity period of an otherwise valid Form I-693.
Effective Aug. 12, 2021, USCIS is temporarily extending the validity period for Form I-693 from 2 years to now 4 years. For decisions on Form I-485 issued on or before Sept. 30, 2021, the adjudicating officer may accept an otherwise valid Form I-693, if no more than four years have passed since the civil surgeon’s signature. The officer may accept for consideration a Form I-693 for a decision issued on or before Sept. 30, 2021 if:
- The civil surgeon’s signature is dated no more than 60 days before the applicant filed Form I-485;
- No more than four years have passed since the date of the civil surgeon’s signature; and
- A decision on Form I-485 is issued on or before Sept. 30, 2021.
You are not required to file the Form I-693 at the same time you file Form I-485, and many applicants bring their completed Form I-693 to their interview. However, some applications may not require an interview. USCIS makes decisions to waive interviews on a case-by-case basis. Therefore, to help save time and avoid adjudication delays, please file Form I-485 and Form I-693 at the same time. It is also important to note that the date of the civil surgeon’s signature on the Form I-693 must be no more than 60 days before the date you file Form I-485 in order to retain its validity, regardless of whether you submit Form I-693 with your Form I-485 or after you file your Form I-485.