USCIS revised its Policy Manual to eliminate the need to submit the required medical exam report (Form I-693) for permanent residency applications within 60 days of when the doctor signs it. Aside from an exemption of this requirement during the Covid-19 pandemic, the 60-day rule affected only medical exam reports submitted along with the I-485 Application to Adjust Status. There previously was a lengthy chart to determine the exam’s validity depending upon when the doctor signed the I-693 and when it was sent to USCIS. Now, it’s very simple: The I-693 is valid for two years from when the doctor signs it. If USCIS does not get to the I-485 Application before the I-693 expires, it will send a Request for Evidence to ask for a new one.

In another update to the Policy Manual, USCIS is working on a change to immigration forms to include “X” as a gender identification alternative to male or female. Except for an application to replace a naturalization or citizenship certificate, USCIS will not require supporting documents to evidence a gender change from what currently is reflected on a person’s documents. This is the result of an April 2021 initiative that requested input from stakeholders to remove or reduce barriers for persons seeking immigration benefits.

These developments are just the latest examples of the Biden Administration’s efforts to improve the immigration system and return to USCIS’ prior mission as a customer service-focused agency.