The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced that individuals applying to become a lawful permanent resident, and other applicants as deemed necessary, must undergo an immigration medical exam to show they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before the civil surgeon can complete an immigration medical examination beginning from October 1, 2021.
“Effective October 1, 2021, applicants subject to the immigration medical examination must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before the civil surgeon can complete an immigration medical examination and sign Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record,” said the USCIS in a statement.
“This guidance applies prospectively to Form I-693 signed by civil surgeons on or after October 1, 2021.”
It said that “USCIS is updating its policy guidance in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s August 17, 2021, update to the Technical Instructions for Civil Surgeons.”
“We are working on updating Form I-693 and the form instructions to incorporate this new requirement.”
“Applicants must complete the COVID-19 vaccine series (one or two doses, depending on the vaccine) and provide documentation of vaccination to a USCIS-designated civil surgeon before completion of the immigration medical examination.”
Individuals applying to become a lawful permanent resident, and other applicants as deemed necessary, must undergo an immigration medical exam to show they are free from any conditions that would render them inadmissible under the health-related grounds.
USCIS designates eligible physicians as civil surgeons to perform this immigration medical examination for applicants within the United States and to document the results of the immigration medical examination on Form I-693.
However, USCIS may grant a blanket waiver if a vaccine is:
- Not age appropriate;
- Contraindicated due to a medical condition;
- Not routinely available in the state where the civil surgeon practices; or
- Limited in supply and would cause significant delay for the applicant to receive the vaccination.
- Individuals may also apply for waivers based on religious beliefs or moral convictions by submitting Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility.