USCIS Revises Policy Guidance on Validity Period of Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record

As of November 1, 2018, USCIS is revising policy guidance for the validity period of Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record. The updated policy, which goes into effect on Nov. 1, 2018, will require applicants to submit a Form I-693 that is signed by a civil surgeon no more than 60 days before filing the underlying application for an immigration benefit. The Form I-693 would remain valid for a two-year period following the date the civil surgeon signed it.

Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record is used by USCIS Immigration Officers to determine whether an applicant for an immigration benefit in the United States is inadmissible under the health-related grounds of inadmissibility. Officers will still have the discretion, as they have always had, to request a new Form I-693 if they have reason to believe an applicant may be inadmissible on the health-related grounds.

USCIS Issues Policy Alert on Marriage and Living in Marital Union Requirements for Naturalization

USCIS is revising policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to clarify the “married” and “living in marital union” requirements for applicants filing for spousal naturalization. The updated guidance makes clear that the applicant and his or her U.S. citizen spouse must have been “living in marital union” (living together) for at least three years before filing. Updated guidance is effective immediately and comments are due by 10/25/18.

Visa Bulletin for November 2018

The November 2018 Visa Bulletin has been released, but the cutoff dates in the final action (FA) chart for the vast majority of employment-based categories remain unchanged from the October 2018 Visa Bulletin. There is absolutely no change in the dates for filing (DF) chart from last month. The latest Visa Bulletin also includes notes on the extension of the EB-4 Category for Religious Workers and the EB-5 Category for Regional Center program until December 07, 2018.

USCIS has also confirmed the Dates for Filing (DF) chart is to be used for all family- and employment-based categories. Thus, in November, USCIS will continue to accept family based and employment-based adjustment applications from foreign nationals with a priority date that is earlier than the “Dates for Filing” listed in the November Visa Bulletin.

CBP Statement of Canada’s Legalization of Marijuana and Crossing the Border

United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has issued a recent statement regarding Canada’s legalization of marijuana and crossing the border. According the statement, Canada’s legalization of marijuana does not affect CBP’s enforcement of the laws of the United States regarding controlled substances. The sale, possession, production, and distribution of marijuana or the facilitation of these continue to remain illegal under U.S. federal law. International travelers who wish to enter the United States are ultimately governed by U.S. federal law.

However, CBP also stated that “A Canadian citizen working in or facilitating the proliferation of the legal marijuana industry in Canada, coming to the U.S. for reasons unrelated to the marijuana industry will generally be admissible to the U.S. However, if a traveler is found to be coming to the U.S. for reasons related to the marijuana industry, they may be deemed inadmissible.”