– Applicants that file for lawful permanent resident status using USCIS’s Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status, will now be able to apply for a social security number (SSN) or replacement card as part of the adjustment of status application process. Previously, these individuals had to apply for an SSN at a Social Security office. Under the updated process, after approving Form I-485, USCIS will electronically transmit the data to the Social Security Administration. The Social Security Administration will then assign an original SSN or issue a replacement card. USCIS Director Ur M. Jaddou, stated, “this expansion of our partnership with the Social Security Administration illustrates our commitment to operating our nation’s immigration system more efficiently to save applicants time. Eliminating unnecessary bureaucracy and optimizing collaboration across public-serving agencies is a key priority for this agency and the Biden-Harris administration.”
– USCIS requires that applicants filing a Form I-485 to adjust their status to lawful permanent resident must also include a Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, to show that they are free from any conditions that would render them inadmissible under health-related grounds. USCIS currently considers a Form I-693 to remain valid for 2 years after the civil surgeon signed the form. Due to COVID-related delays that have resulted in USCIS processing delays with application adjudications, USCIS is temporarily extending the validity period of Forms I-693 to 4 years since the date of the civil surgeon’s signature.
USCIS has stated that if an I-485 applicant receives a Request for Evidence (“RFE”) for a new I-693 medical exam because the I-693 on file with USCIS is over 2 years old, but the applicant’s I-693 on file with USCIS is valid under the temporary extension to 4 years, then the applicant should respond to the RFE by referring to USCIS’s updated policy extending the validity. Importantly, this temporary extension of the Form I-693 only applies to Form I-485 applications that are adjudicated by USCIS on or before September 30, 2021. It is anticipated that USCIS will return to the 2-year validity policy on October 1, 2021. It is important that immigration counsel is consulted before responding to any RFE issued on an immigration case.