Today U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) approved the continuation of an exception to its rules related to Form I-9 that was initially granted last year as a result of COVID-19. Specifically, if an employee hired on or after April 1, 2021 works exclusively in a remote setting due to COVID-19 related precautions, he/she is temporarily exempt from the physical inspection requirements associated with the Form I-9. This temporary exemption is in place until the employee undertakes non-remote employment on a regular, consistent, or predictable basis, or the extension of the flexibilities related to such requirements is terminated, whichever is earlier. Due to continued precautions related to COVID-19, this policy has been officially extended until April 30, 2022.
On December 9, 2021, USCIS announced that it will temporarily waive the requirement that the civil surgeon’s signature on USCIS medical exams (Form I-693) be dated no more than 60 days prior to filing the I-485 Adjustment of Status application.
Currently, USCIS considers a completed Medical Exam (Form I-693) to retain its evidentiary value for 2 years after the date the civil surgeon signed, as long as the date of the civil surgeon’s signature is no more than 60 days before the applicant filed the application for the underlying immigration benefit. This is commonly referred to as the “60-day rule.” 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 waiving the requirement that the civil surgeon’s signature be dated no more than 60 days before the applicant files the application for the underlying immigration benefit.
This temporary waiver is effective from December 9, 2021 until September 30, 2022, and applies to all USCIS Medical Exams (Form I-693) associated with applications for underlying immigration benefits that have not been adjudicated, regardless of when the application was submitted or when the Form I-693 was signed.