Changes to Gonorrhea Testing Requirement for Medical Examination for Adjustment of Status

On August 1, 2016, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new Technical Instructions (TIs) on gonorrhea testing [link]. As a result, most applicants for lawful permanent resident (LPR) status must be tested for gonorrhea by a designated civil surgeon as part of the medical examination requirement for adjustment of status. An applicant who tests positive for gonorrhea will be considered to have a Class A medical condition until completing treatment. The civil surgeon performing the medical examination for adjustment of status details the results on the Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record.

Medical Examination for Adjustment of Status

The original version of the TIs required civil surgeons to include lab reports pertaining to gonorrhea testing with the Form I-693. This requirement applied regardless of whether the test results were positive or negative. However, on March 15, 2017, the CDC updated the TIs to instruct that laboratory reports and other medical documentation need not be included with the Form I-693. This change not only applies prospectively, but also retroactively. This means that the USCIS will be able to fully adjudicate an adjustment of status application if the civil surgeon does not include laboratory reports and other medical documentation pertaining to gonorrhea testing with the Form I-693.1

Please see the following chart in order to understand which adjustment of status applicants are required to undergo gonorrhea testing:

If the applicant… And the applicant is… Does the applicant need to be tested for gonorrhea?
Is required to receive a full medical examination 15 years of age or older Yes
  Younger than 15 years of age Only if there is a history of gonorrhea or reason to suspect an infection with gonorrhea.
Is NOT required to receive a full medical examination Any age No

In general, refugees, derivative asylees who file for adjustment within one year of becoming eligible to file, and K and V nonimmigrants who file for adjustment of status within one year of having a medical examination abroad may submit the Form I-693 with only a completed vaccination record, provided that no Class A medical conditions were identified in the initial examination.

Furthermore, if the applicant's Form I-693 was completed before August 1, 2016, no gonorrhea test results are required. However, if the applicant's Form I-693 is submitted after that date without the gonorrhea test results, the USCIS will send the applicant a request for evidence (RFE) [link]. The USCIS explains that an applicant may seek to submit a supplement to the initial Form I-693 prior to receiving an RFE.

If an applicant tests positive for gonorrhea, he or she will be deemed to have a Class A medical condition. After completing treatment for gonorrhea, such an applicant will be re-designated as having a Class B medical condition.

Finally, civil surgeons should be aware that beginning on April 28, 2017, they must use the current version of the Form I-693 (dated February 7, 2017). Until that date, civil surgeons may continue to use the previous version of the Form I-693 (dated March 30, 2015).

Please see our full article to learn about the medical examination requirement for adjustment of status in detail [see article].

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  1. “USCIS Provides Guidance to Civil Surgeons on Form I-693 Gonorrhea Testing Requirements.” Posted at AILA InfoNet at Doc. No. 17032203. (Mar. 22, 2017)