U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that they have updated their policy guidance to align with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As of October 1, 2021, applicants must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before completing an immigration medical examination.
The updated policy guidance also requires applicants to provide documentation verifying vaccination involving one or two doses, based on the vaccine they receive. Those subject to the mandate must also have a signed Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record. Eligible physicians will be designated civil surgeons conducting the examination and provide documentation of the examination results.
Those applying to become lawful permanent residents and other applicants considered necessary are subject to these requirements, specifically being free from any conditions that would make them excluded from the vaccine due to health-related matters.
Blanket waivers from the USCIS ordered-vaccines include:
- Those not of an appropriate age
- Potential health risks to the applicant
- Lack of vaccine availability in the geographical area where the surgeon practices
- Limited supply that could lead to delay in receiving one or two doses of the vaccine
In addition, individual waivers – formally known as Applications for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility (Form I-601) – citing religious beliefs or moral convictions can be submitted to the USCIS.