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USCIS Introduces Form I-910 and Centralizes the Civil Surgeon Application Process
Starting on March 11, 2014, USCIS will implement a new process to receive and adjudicate applications for civil surgeon designation centrally at the National Benefits Center. This process change requires physicians seeking civil surgeon designation to file a formal application at a USCIS Lockbox. Centralizing the civil surgeon application process will:
- Improve the application intake process;
- Enhance USCIS’s ability to manage and track civil surgeon applications;
- Promote consistency and uniformity in USCIS decisions on civil surgeon-related matters; and
- Improve overall efficiency and integrity of the program.
Once centralization goes into effect, physicians seeking civil surgeon designation will need to complete Form I-910, Application for Civil Surgeon Designation, and pay a $615 application fee. This new application form and process implements provisions of the agency’s 2010 Fee Rule. It will not affect current civil surgeons. Prospective civil surgeons should not file the form and fee prior to March 11, 2014.
Previously, civil surgeon designation has been a local process at the district or field office with jurisdiction over the prospective civil surgeon’s office location. The new process is detailed in Volume 8, Part C of the USCIS Policy Manual, which replaces the civil surgeon designation guidance found in Chapter 83.4 of the Adjudicator’s Field Manual (AFM). The new policy on civil surgeons:
- Reaffirms and clarifies the purpose, role, and responsibilities of civil surgeons;
- Outlines the professional qualifications needed for civil surgeon designation;
- Explains the application requirements for civil surgeon designation;
- Clarifies the process for adjudicating civil surgeon applications;
- Provides consolidated guidance on blanket civil surgeon designation;
- Reaffirms USCIS’s ability to revoke civil surgeon designation and clarifies revocation grounds; and
- Provides guidance on maintenance of the civil surgeon list.
On Jan. 28, 2014, USCIS also published the section of the USCIS Policy Manual with updated and comprehensive policy guidance regarding health-related inadmissibility grounds and waivers.