Chapter 4: Review of Medical Examination Documentation

A. Results of the Medical Examination​

The physician must annotate the results of the examination on the following forms: ​

Panel Physicians​

Panel physicians must annotate the results of the medical examination on ​the ​Medical Examination for Immigrant or Refugee Applicant (1991 TB Technical Instructions)​ (Form DS-2053)​or ​the​ Medical Examination for Immigrant or Refugee Applicant (2007 TB Technical Instructions)​ (Form DS-2054)​, and related worksheets.​ [1] As of October 1, 2013, panel physicians only use DS-2054. The DS-2053 is no longer used after that date.

Civil Surgeons​

Civil surgeons must annotate the medical examination results on​ the Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record​(​Form I-693​).​

B. Documentation Completed ​by ​Panel Physician​

Since a State Department Consular Officer reviews the medical documentation completed by a panel physician as part of the overseas visa process, a USCIS Officer may assume that the medical documentation is properly completed.​ [2] The Technical Instructions for Panel Physicians may differ from the Technical Instructions for Civil Surgeons. As long as the DS form is properly completed, the officer should accept the finding of the consular officer as correct.

If the USCIS Officer notices a​ significant​ irregularity such as an omission of a particular s​ection, the officer may issue a Request for Evidence​(​RFE​)​ to have a civil surgeon in the United States complete the missing part(s) of the medical examination. A civil surgeon should address any deficiency by completing the respective parts of a ​Form I-693​ according to the Technical Instructions for Civil Surgeons issued by CDC.​ [3] In this case, because the DS form was completed by a panel physician, the officer should retain the original document. The RFE must specify which sections of Form I-693 have to be completed by a civil surgeon. This should only happen in rare instances. ​

Applicants who have already been examined abroad and are not required to repeat the medical examination in the United States may still have to show proof of the vaccination requirement.​ [4] See Chapter 3, Applicability of Medical Examination and Vaccination Requirement [8 USCIS-PM B.3] for specific information on who is required to be examined and to what extent.

C. Documentation Completed by Civil Surgeon​

1. Civil Surgeon ​Designation​

E​xcept for physicians who are Public Health Service Officers, only physicians designated by USCIS to act as civil surgeons may conduct an immigration medical examination in the United States and complete ​Form I-693​.​ [5] Form I-693 can only be used for immigration benefits that are granted in the United States. Only doctors of medicine (M.D.) and doctors of osteopathy (D.O.) who are currently licensed to practice as physicians may be designated.​ [6] See INA 232 and 8 CFR 232.The p​hysician ​must ​be designated as a civil surgeon at the time of the completion of the medical examination​.​

To determine whether the physician is designated as a civil surgeon, the officer should consult the designated civil surgeon list through the civil surgeon locator on uscis.gov.​

If the officer has questions as to the past designation of a civil surgeon, the officer should contact the appropriate civil surgeon POC(s). ​

2. Complete​ Form​

The following requirements must always be met regarding ​any​Form I-693​ submitted to USCIS:​

The form must be completed legibly;​

All required parts of the form must be completed;​ [7] Some parts of the form may not be required. For example, if an applicant is not required to undergo a chest X-ray in the TB section of the medical examination report, the chest X-ray section would not have to be completed.

The form must be signed and dated by the designated civil surgeon who conducted the medical examination;​ [8] See Subsection 3, Signatures [8 USCIS-PM B.4(C)(3)].

The form must be signed and dated by the applicant who was examined;​ [9] See Subsection 3, Signatures [8 USCIS-PM B.4(C)(3)].

If applicable, the form must be signed and dated by the physician(s) completing referral evaluations;​ [10] See Subsection 3, Signatures [8 USCIS-PM B.4(C)(3)].

The form must still be valid;​ [11] See Subsection 4, Validity Period of Form I-693 (Including Use of Prior Versions) [8 USCIS-PM B.4(C)(4)]. and​

The form must be in a sealed envelope as detailed in the form’s instructions. ​

If the above requirements are not met, or if there is evidence that the envelope has been tampered with, the officer must return the ​original​Form I-693​ to the applicant for corrective action. Whenever an original is returned to the applicant, the officer should retain a copy. ​

A response to an RFE is acceptable if it is completed by a civil surgeon in one of the following ways:​

The civil surgeon annotates the original medical examination in the deficient part(s), and both the applicant and the civil surgeon re-sign and re-date ​their respective certifications.​

The civil surgeon re-completes an entirely new ​Form I-693​, and corre​cts for the original deficiency.​

The civil surgeon completes the following sections of a new​ form​: The part containing the applicant’s information,​ [12] As part of completing the Form I-693, the civil surgeon must ensure that the applicant has signed the applicant’s certification.the part(s) that were deficient in the original examination, and the part containing the civil surgeon’s information and certification. The civil surgeon must include the original medical examination documentation with the newly completed parts. ​

The applicant may return to the original civil surgeon who performed the immigration medical exam or a new civil surgeon to correct​ the form​.​

The civil surgeon must place the corrected​ form​ [13] Along with the original Form I-693, if separate from the corrected form. in a sealed envelope. The applicant must then return the sealed envelope to USCIS.​

3. Signatures​

The applicant, the civil surgeon, and any other health care provider who evaluated the applicant as part of the immigration medical examination should sign the form, to verify that the content of their representations is truthful.​

Signature of the Civil Surgeon ​

The civil surgeon’s signature must be an original signature. There is no exception to this requirement. Stamps of the physician’s signature or other substitutes, or copies of the civil surgeon’s original signature, are not acceptable.​

As outlined in CDC’s Technical Instructions, the civil surgeon is only permitted to sign the ​Form I-693​ after he or she has completed the entire medical examination. An examination is not completed until any prescribed treatment for a Class A condition has been administered. ​

There may be circumstances when an applicant refuses to undergo one part of the examination, but the civil surgeon certifies the form with a notation that part of the exam is not complete. In these cases, the officer should issue an RFE to the applicant for corrective action.​

The civil surgeon might also diagnose a Class ​A​ condition for which the applicant refuses treatment. The civil surgeon might then annotate the Class ​A​ condition but still certify and sign the form. In this case, the officer ​should not​ return the​ form ​for corrective action. The officer should determine that the applicant is inadmissible and ask the applicant to request a waiver, if available.​ [14] See Volume 9, Waivers, Part C, Waivers for Health-Related Grounds of Inadmissibility [9 USCIS-PM C] for more on waivers.

Signature of the Health Department ​

In agreement with CDC, USCIS granted blanket civil surgeon designation to local and state health departments in the United States. This blanket designation allows health departments to complete the vaccination portion of ​Form I-693​ for refugees seeking adjustment if they have a physician who meets the professional qualifications for a civil surgeon. If a refugee only requires the vaccination assessment, the only parts of​ the form ​that need to be completed are the applicant’s information, the vaccination assessment, and the certifications. The other parts are irrelevant and do not have to be submitted. ​

If the health department physician is completing only a vaccination assessment for refugees seeking adjustment, the physician’s signature may be either an original (handwritten) or a stamped signature, as long as it is the signature of the health department physician. The attending nurse may, but does not have to, co-sign with the physician. The signature of the ​physician must be accompanied by the health department’s stamp or raised seal, whichever is customarily used. ​

If the health department does not properly sign, the officer should return the medical documentation to the applicant for corrective action.​ [15] See Part C, Civil Surgeon Designation and Revocation [8 USCIS-PM C] for more information on the blanket civil surgeon designation for health departments.

Signature of a Military Physician designated as a Civil Surgeon for Members and Veterans of the Armed Forces​

To ease the difficulties encountered by physicians and applicants in the military, USCIS issued a blanket civil surgeon designation to qualifying military physicians to permit them to perform the immigration medical examination and complete the ​Form I-693​for eligible members and veterans of the ​U.S. armed forces​ and their dependents.​ [16] See Part C, Civil Surgeon Designation and Revocation [8 USCIS-PM C] for more information on the blanket civil surgeon designation for military physicians.

Pursuant to the understanding reached between USCIS and the CDC, military physicians who qualify under this blanket civil surgeon designation may perform the entire immigration medical examination as long as the exam is conducted in the United States on the premises of a Military Treatment Facility (MTF) and conducted for a​ U.S. armed forces​ member, veteran, or dependent who is eligible to receive medical care at the MTF.​

If operating under the blanket civil surgeon designation for military physicians, a physician’s signature may be either an original (handwritten) ​or​ stamped signature, as long as it is the signature of a qualifying military physician. Nurses and other health care professionals may, but are not required to,​co-sign the​ form​. The signature of the physician must be accompanied by the official stamp or raised seal of the MTF, whichever is customarily used.​

If the military physician does not properly sign, the officer should return the medical documentation to the applicant for corrective action.​

Signature of the Applicant​

The applicant or the civil surgeon may complete the section about the applicant’s information. The civil surgeon must always verify the applicant’s identity by requiring a government-issued ID, as stated in CDC’s Technical Instructions. ​

The applicant must sign the certification only when instructed by the civil surgeon. By signing the form, the applicant attests that he or she consented to the medical examination and that any information provided in relation to the medical examination is truthful. ​

Whenever the civil surgeon orders a test that he or she does not perform personally, the civil surgeon must ensure that the physician or staff to whom the applicant is referred checks the identity of the applicant by requesting a government-issued ID.​ [17] By signing the form, the civil surgeon certifies that he or she has examined the applicant according to the procedures and requirements outlined in the Technical Instructions, Form I-693, and form instructions. Officers do not need to verify whether the civil surgeon instructed the referring physician to check the applicant’s identity.

An officer should follow the chart below to determine whether the applicant or a legal guardian must sign the form.​ [18] See 8 CFR 103.2(a)(2).

Signature of the Applicant​

Age of Applicant​

Signature Requirement​

Age 14 or Older​

The applicant must sign ​Form I-693​. However, a legal guardian may sign for a mentally incompetent person.​

Under Age 14​

Either the​ applicant, a parent, or legal guardian may sign the ​Form I-693​. The officer should not reject ​the form ​as improperly completed if only the applicant, parent, or guardian signs.​

Signature of Physicians Receiving Referrals for Evaluation​

If the civil surgeon is unable to perform a particular medical assessment, he or she is required to refer the applicant to another physician. The physician receiving the referral is required to complete the appropriate section on ​Form I-693​ after he or she has completed the evaluation of the applicant’s condition. The civil surgeon may not sign the civil surgeon’s certification on​ the form ​until the civil surgeon has received and reviewed the report of the physician who received the referral. If the referring physician ordered treatment, the civil surgeon may not sign the certification until the treatment has been completed.​

Contracted services used by the civil surgeon to complete a step in the medical examination are not considered referrals. Therefore, the referral section can be blank in such cases.​ [19] Civil surgeons are, however, still responsible for ensuring that the contractor properly checks the applicant’s ID. For example, if the civil surgeon uses a contractor to draw blood, the referral section does not have to be completed. However, if the Technical Instructions require a referral to the Health Department because the applicant has TB, the officer must make sure that the referral section is completed.​

4. Validity ​Period ​of ​Form I-693​(Including Use of Prior Versions)​


Evidentiary Value​

A person seeking an immigration benefit and who is subject to medical grounds of inadmissibility must establish that he or she is not inadmissible on medical grounds.​ [20] See INA 212(a)(1). In general, those applying for immigration benefits while in the United States must use ​Form I-693​ to show they are free from any conditions that would render them inadmissible. ​

An officer may determine that the applicant has met the burden of proof required to establish that he or she is free from a medical condition that would render the applicant inadmissible if all of the following criteria are met:​

The medical exam was performed by a USCIS-designated civil surgeon in accordance with HHS regulations​;​

The medical examination report was properly completed​;​ [21] See Section C, Documentation Completed by Civil Surgeon [8 USCIS-PM B.4(C)].

The medical examination report was submitted to USCIS less than one year after completion of the examination​;​ [22] USCIS will use the date the Form I-693 was signed by the civil surgeon (including blanket-designated health departments and military physicians) to determine whether the report was submitted less than one year after completion of the examination.

The benefit application​ [23] For example, an Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485). is adjudicated no more than one year after the date the medical examination report was submitted to USCIS​;​ [24] USCIS will use the date that USCIS received the Form I-693 to determine whether the medical examination report is more than one year old at time of adjudication of the benefit application. Although the medical examination report is generally valid for adjudicatory purposes up to one year after filing, the officer may order an additional immigration medical examination at any time if he or she has concerns as to an applicant’s inadmissibility on health-related grounds. For more information, see Chapter 11, Inadmissibility Determination, Section C, Other Information [8 USCIS-PM B.11(C)]. and​

The medical examination report establishes that the applicant does not have a Class ​A​ medical condition and has complied with the vaccination requirements or is granted a waiver.​ [25] For more information on determining inadmissibility based on medical grounds, see Chapter 5, Review of Overall Findings [8 USCIS-PM B.5] through Chapter 11, Inadmissibility Determination [8 USCIS-PM B.11].

In general, if any one of the above criteria is not met, the applicant has not met the burden of proof required to establish that he or she is free of a medical condition that would render him or her inadmissible to the United States. In this case, the officer should follow standard operating procedures regarding issuance of an RFE or Notice of Intent to Deny (NOID) to address the deficiency. ​

Special rules may apply to certain foreign nationals who were examined overseas, including certain ​nonimmigrant ​fiancé(​e)s ​or spouses ​of U.S. citizens ​(​K visa​), ​spouses ​of​ lawful permanent residents​ (V visa), refugees, and asylee dependents. Such foreign nationals usually do not need to repeat the full medical exam in the United States for purposes of adjustment of status.​ [26] See Chapter 3, Applicability of Medical Examination and Vaccination Requirement [8 USCIS-PM B.3] for more information on these special considerations.

Generally, the only ​acceptable ​version of ​Form I-693​ is the version in use at the time of the medical examination.​ Prior versions of ​Form I-693​ are generally not acceptable because they may lack necessary information.​ [27] See http://www.uscis.gov/i-693 for the current and accepted version(s) of the form.

Timing of the Submission of​ the Medical Examination Report​

The medical examination report may be submitted to USCIS:​

Concurrently with the immigration benefit application; or​

At any time after filing the immigration benefit application but prior to the adjudication of that application; if not filed concurrently with the immigration benefit application, USCIS encourages applicants to wait until USCIS requests the medical examination report before submitting it.​ [28] This includes a request to bring the medical examination report to the interview.

Place of Submission of the Medical Examination Report​

The medical examination report should be submitted to the appropriate location.​ [29] See http://www.uscis.gov/i-693 for location information.