USCIS recently changed its policy regarding how long Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record remained valid.  Beginning on June 1, 2014, Form I-693 will only be valid for one year after USCIS receives the form.  The new policy applies to all benefit applications adjudicated by USCIS on or after June 1, 2014.  To view full USCIS memo, visit www.uscis.gov/policymanual/Updates/20140530-I-693Validity.pdf .

As a result of the policy change, USCIS is now allowing Form I-693 to be submitted in the following ways:

– Submit Form I-693 by mail, together with Form I-485,
Application to Register for Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
– Submit Form I-693 by mail, together with Form I-485,
Application to Register for Permanent Residence or Adjust Status
– Submit
Form I-693 by mail in response to a Request for Evidence letter from USCIS,
after filing Form I-485
– Submit
Form I-693 in person at an interview in a USCIS field office (if an interview is
required)

To avoid having to submit a new medical exam because the initial I-693 expired before USCIS adjudicates your application, you should schedule the medical examination as close as possible to the time you file for adjustment of status, respond to a Request for Evidence, or attend an interview (if applicable).

If you have any questions regarding Form I-693 or filing an adjustment of status application, please schedule a consultation with one of our immigration attorneys today!

June 20, 2014 is World Refugee Day.  To honor refugees and mark the day, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has created a series of videos, essays and photos to tell refugee stories.  People can share their refugee stories or view these stories on a special World Refugee Day web site: http://stories.unhcr.org/.  According to the UNHCR, there are now about 51.2 million people displaced by war and persecution, up 6 million on figures for a year earlier.  The increase was driven by the war in Syria, which shows no sign of ending.  This number of forcibly displaced people was higher than it had ever been since the end of World War II.

Some 15 million are refugees who have fled to other countries.  Most refugees receive assistance in the country to which they flee, and eventually return to their country of origin.  Less than one percent are permanently resettled in other countries.  Of the refugees who are resettled to third countries, the United States accepts more than half.   www.unhcr.org.

As part of the People’s Law School Program, Managing Attorney Dawn Gerhart will be teaching a class on basic immigration at 6 pm on June 26, 2014 at the Wright Middle School, 180 McCall St., Nashville, TN 37211.  The class provides an introduction to the terms and concepts of U.S. immigration law, ways that people immigrate to the U.S., complexities and recent developments of immigration law and how to avoid potential scams.  This class is appropriate for anyone interested in learning more about the U.S. immigration system.  There is no charge for the class.  To register and for more information visit http://www.nashville.gov/Nashville-Community-Education.aspx.  Pre-registration is not necessary.

The People’s Law School is a partnership of Legal Aid Society (LAS) and the Nashville Community Education Commission.  It is a free program that provides an overview of legal issues that a typical person might face. Taught by Legal Aid Society staff and volunteer attorneys, the weekly, one-hour classes will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. on Thursdays at the Cohn

Learning Center, 4805 Park Avenue or at the Wright Middle School, 180 McCall St., Nashville, TN 37211.  The classes, offered May through July, will focus on a different legal topic each week.

USCIS began accepting renewal requests for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  All applications for DACA, whether initial or renewals, must be submitted on the revised Form I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), dated June 4, 2014.  USCIS will reject and return all DACA requests using previous versions of Form I-821D.  The last day to use previously accepted versions was June 5, 2014.  http://www.uscis.gov/news/secretary-johnson-announces-process-daca-renewal.

DACA is a discretionary program to defer removal action against an individual.  Individuals in DACA will be able to remain in the United States and apply for employment authorization for a period of two years.  Individuals who have not requested DACA previously, but meet the criteria established, may also request deferral for the first time.   Individuals who have not continuously resided in the United States since June 15, 2007, are not eligible for DACA.

Individuals may request DACA renewal if they continue to meet the initial criteria and these additional guidelines:

– Did not depart the United States on or after Aug. 15, 2012, without advance parole;
– Have continuously resided in the United States since they submitted their most recent DACA request that was approved; and
– Have not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor or three or more misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety.