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Medical exam rules change for green card applicants

Medical exam rules change for green card applicants

While many immigrants in Texas and across the country have been unsettled by recent changes to immigration law and enforcement, there are also some positive changes that could help legal immigrants obtain green cards. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced that one requirement for a green card will be updated effective Nov. 1. In particular, the changes affect the required medical examination. This exam aims to ensure that an applicant does not have any health issues that could make him or her inadmissible to the United States.

If an immigrant wants to obtain a green card and become a lawful permanent resident, he or she must complete the medical examination. After the exam is complete, Form I-693 is used to submit the results to USCIS for processing with the green card application. As of November, the form must be signed by a USCIS-designated civil surgeon 60 days or less before the green card application is filed. The regulations will also ensure that the form retains its validity for two years after the date of signing.

In the past, doctors were not required to sign the form 60 days or less before the application was filed. Many applicants then faced challenges later on as the form had expired by the time their application was handled. Applicants then had to obtain new medical reports in order to complete the process. However, immigration officers can still require applicants to get a new medical examination if they suspect inadmissibility for health reasons.

While the new rule may be helpful, it can also require applicants to carefully calculate their application time and the period they will need to complete the medical examination. An immigration lawyer can help someone applying for a green card ensure a successful path to citizenship.

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