The US Citizenship and Immigration made announcements about the Greencard applicants and their COVID-19 vaccinations. Starting from October 1, 2021, permanent resident applicants are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
While this requirement may not seem like a big deal, considering that a large portion of the United States is already fully vaccinated – going over 80 percent at the time of writing – countries on the other side of the globe are finding it difficult to supply vaccines. Although it’s now a question of whether or not the vaccines are accessible in the foreign country of the applicant, the USCIS is very strict about the vaccinations as it’s now a part of the integral medical examination.
COVID-19 vaccination rule exemptions
The rule is likely to apply to the majority of the applicants, with a few groups being exempt. If one of the following applies to your situation, you’re exempt from the COVID-19 vaccination rule by the USCIS as a Greencard applicant.
- The vaccination isn’t age-appropriate to you, meaning that the applicant is under the age of 12.
- The vaccine isn’t routinely available in the foreign country the applicant resides in, therefore, it isn’t accessible. This also covers those that are living in countries where there is a shortage of COVID-19 vaccines.
- The applicant has a valid medical condition that makes vaccination imprudent. This includes a medical condition (documented) where the applicant has severe reactions to the vaccine, including the first dose.
Applications before October 1st
The applicants for a Greencard that already filed the necessary USCIS forms aren’t required to be fully vaccinated if Form I-693 (Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record) is filed by a physician before October 1st. The applicants that already submitted their documents should have enough time to skip on this rule. However, if you’re making your application now, getting a medical examination date past October 1st is highly likely.
Whether you’re not vaccinated due to misconceptions about the vaccines or they are not accessible where you’re at the moment, all applicants must have their vaccinations when they’re submitting their I-693, which is attached to I-485. Without Form I-693, your Greencard application won’t be valid. Having said that, you should sort your vaccination even before you submit your application.
If you’re vaccinated against other diseases, it will be shown on your vaccination record, on Form I-693. Make sure to tell your physician if you’ve been vaccinated against MMR (measles-mumps-rubella). Although these aren’t affecting the world on a larger scale, telling the physician about your vaccination history can help.