Beginning October 1, USCIS and the Department of State (DHS) will require green card applicants seeking refugee or lawful permanent status to be wholly vaccinated for COVID-19 and produce proof of vaccination during their medical examination. This new I-693 Medical Exam vaccination requirement will apply to any permanent resident applicant who has a medical exam scheduled on or after October 1, 2021 (with exceptions allowed). Green card candidates must already be vaccinated against diseases that would make them inadmissible to the US, such as Mumps, Measles, Rubella, Polio, and others.
Before finishing the medical examination, the applicant must complete the COVID-19 vaccine series and show vaccination proof to the civil surgeon in person. In contrast to prior requirements, the COVID-19 vaccination requirement will require completion of the entire vaccine series (1 or 2 doses depending on formulation) in addition to the other frequently necessary immunizations. If you only received the first dosage of the COVID-19 vaccination at the time of your medical exam, you will be able to return after obtaining the second dose to complete your medical exam. Our immigration law firms in Alabama will help you with expert advice and relevant solutions regarding the prevailing situation.
What serves as proof of vaccination?
COVID-19 immunization proof can be found in the following documents:
- Medical records of vaccinations
- Medical records showing when you were vaccinated.
Tests showing natural immunity from a past infection will not serve as proof for immigration purposes because the “duration of immunity due to genuine illness is still being investigated and might not protect the applicant throughout the immigration process.
Extension to I-693 Validity Due to COVID
You are exempt from the COVID-19 vaccine requirement if you completed your I-693 Medical Exam before October 1, 2021, and it is still valid. Remember that the medical exam does not have to be submitted with the initial I-485 application to USCIS. If you do not offer the medical exam information in the first submission, it will not be rejected as long as you submit it during the validity window. (from the date the civil surgeon signs it).
Who is exempt from the vaccine requirement?
Age, existing medical issues, inability to obtain a vaccine due to restricted availability, and moral or religious reasons are some reasons you may be excluded from the vaccine mandate. Vaccines are not currently available for children under the age of 12. Some vaccines are now recommended for youngsters as young as 12 years old, while others are only for 18 and above. You must submit a waiver request to USCIS and wait for their approval to qualify for the religious exemption.
You can consult the best immigration law firms in Alabama to avoid any last-minute inconvenience in your applications.