My wife's green card application is on hold, waiting on my I-864 (US taxes.. bah! Don't open a Limited in the UK if you're a US citizen unless you're ok with paying $1200 to have your personal US taxes done).

We have done the interview portion at the London embassy already. They handed back the x-ray in an envelope. That envelope had a handwritten 'exp. {date}` on it.

We're concerned that we will have to enter the US before that date.

Thus: Does the x-ray expire once the embassy has reviewed and approved the immigrant visa. If so, what happens? Do we "just" need to get another medical? Or does the whole process start over - medical, interview, resubmit forms, new legal clearance etc.

Answers from personal experience would be great - actual references to legal code would be absolutely fantastic.

1 Answer 1


The validity of the medical examination is the subject of 9 FAM 302.2-3(C), and in most cases it is valid for 6 months. This isn't the only clock that is running, as there is also a requirement in law to enter the US within 6 months of the visa interview while police certificates and photographs have their own (longer) expiration schedule, but in the typical case it is the 6 month anniversary of the medical exam that determines the expiry date of the immigrant visa.

In my own case I did the medical on March 1, interviewed on March 10 and received an immigrant visa that expired on August 31. My case was in administrative processing for an extended period so my visa didn't issue until early August, leaving me only 3 weeks to use it to enter. The time you spend on outstanding stuff you need to deal with after the interview generally doesn't change the visa expiration date, it only delays the visa issuance.

So to answer your question, immigrant visas have an expiry data and the visa your wife ultimately receives will likely have that set to the 6 month anniversary of her medical. She must arrive at a US port of entry on or before the visa expiry date to enter as a LPR. I'm not sure what happens if you don't manage to have the visa issued by then but I suspect it will involve redoing or replacing anything that has expired, including the medical.

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