When you apply for a green card, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) requires you to undergo a comprehensive medical examination. A USCIS-designated civil surgeon will review your medical history, complete a physical and psychological evaluation, screen for drugs and alcohol, and conduct tests to detect specific illnesses.
Provided you meet the requirements for admission into the United States under 8 USC 1182 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the civil surgeon conducting your review will sign Form I-693 to confirm your admissibility on health-related grounds.
What Is Form I-693?
Form I-693 is a USCIS document designed to verify your eligibility for a green card in the United States on health-related grounds. As a green card applicant, you must meet specific admissibility requirements to ensure that your admission will not pose a public health risk.
Form I-693 allows the civil surgeon to summarize their findings regarding your health status, including physical and psychological health, vaccination records, and drug and alcohol testing. The civil surgeon will also test you for certain transmissible diseases that may pose a risk to public health, including tuberculosis, syphilis, and gonorrhea.
If you fail to meet the health requirements as indicated in 8 USC 1182, you will be considered inadmissible, and your green card application may be denied.
What Conditions Make Someone Inadmissible Per Form I-693?
Individuals who apply for admission into the United States must prove that they meet health status requirements. Conditions that can make you inadmissible on health-related grounds include:
- If you have a communicable disease that presents a public health risk
- If you do not have sufficient documentation to prove that you have been vaccinated against vaccine-preventable diseases, as indicated by the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP)
- If you have a physical or mental disorder that could pose a threat to yourself or others—or if the behavior associated with that disorder has posed a threat to yourself or others in the past and is likely to reoccur
- If you are addicted to or abusing drugs or alcohol
There are some exceptions to the above provisions for individuals who have received a waiver and children under the age of 10. An immigration attorney can help you determine whether you meet the admissibility requirements for health and public safety and help you complete your Form I-693.
What if I Am Considered Inadmissible Per Form I-693?
If you do not meet all the requirements on Form I-693, you will not be considered admissible to the United States. In this situation, the officer handling your case will either request additional information with a Request for Evidence (RFE) form or send a Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID). Both forms allow you the opportunity to redress the issues to improve your admissibility.
A USCIS officer may also send an NOID if they have reason to believe that your medical condition has changed since you received the initial I-693. This typically occurs when there is an extended period between the date that the civil surgeon signs the Form I-693 and the date the form is submitted. In this case, you will be asked to undergo another medical examination and submit a new Form I-693.
If you are deemed inadmissible and receive either an RFE or NOID, you should contact your immigration lawyer as soon as possible. They will help you determine the next steps to take in order to proceed with your green card application.
How Long do I Have to Submit Form I-693?
Generally, Form I-693 must be submitted to the USCIS within one year or less from the date the civil surgeon signed it. Forms submitted after this date are not considered to be sufficient evidence that you meet health requirements, and you may be asked to complete another Form I-693.
It is important to note that Form I-693 is meant to be submitted with an application for immigration benefits. The validity of your signed I-693 also depends on the date that the benefits application was filed, as well as the date that the civil surgeon signed it. An immigration attorney can help you navigate the process to ensure that you submit your I-693 within the required timeframe.
Do I Need an Immigration Attorney to Complete a Form I-693?
The requirements governing Form I-693 can be complex and confusing. To ensure that you have everything you need for your I-693 and the rest of your green card application, it is wise to consult with a seasoned immigration attorney.
A lawyer with experience handling immigration matters will be able to walk you through the process and keep you from making costly and time-consuming errors that could compromise your case.
Schedule a Strategic Session With New Frontier Immigration Law
If you need assistance with your Form I-693 or another part of your green card application, contact the legal team at New Frontier Immigration Law. Our immigration attorneys will sit down with you in a strategic session to help you make the best case for your immigration situation.
Contact us at (623) 235-8649 to arrange your session.