On January 28, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued an update to its policy manual, providing clearer guidance on health-related inadmissibility issues. In particular, USCIS noted that the guidance found in the Adjudicator’s Field Manual was outdated and did not adequately address the policies behind the health-related inadmissibility provisions.
According to the policy alert released with the changes, USCIS stated that the updates to the policy manual:
- Summarize the history and purpose of the health-related grounds of inadmissibility and corresponding waivers, as well as the roles of DHS and HHS;
- Explain the relationship between the immigration medical examination and the admissibility determination, and instructs how health-related inadmissibility grounds are identified based on the medical examination report;
- Clearly outline the health-related inadmissibility grounds applicable to various categories of applicants, when a medical examination is required, and by whom;
- Outline the various waivers available for applicants seeking an immigrant visa or adjustment of status based on a family- or employment-based visa; and
- Detail the eligibility requirements for waivers of health-related inadmissibility grounds and the process of adjudicating a waiver.
USCIS explicitly stated that the updates to the policy manual are controlling and supersede any prior guidance that may be inconsistent.