The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will require United States Green Card applicants to be fully vaccinated with an approved COVID-19 vaccine starting on October 1, 2021. Applicants must be current on other necessary vaccines and will need to provide acceptable proof of vaccination from a medical provider.
This new requirement applies to all medical exams that happen on or after October 1. Forms I-693 made before this date do not need to comply with the new rule and previously submitted applications will remain valid. Although vaccinations are a long-standing requirement for Green Card applicants, there are a few exceptions to the CDC’s rule on COVID-19 vaccinations.
Exceptions to the CDC’s Rule on COVID-19 Vaccinations
There are exceptions to the CDC’s rule on COVID-19 vaccinations for Green Card applicants. The recent order does not apply to those who are ineligible to receive one. For example, if they do not fall into an eligible age category, the CDC will waive the vaccine requirement.
Acceptable waiver reasons may include:
- Age limits
- Religious reasons
- Moral reasons
You will need to obtain a waiver from US Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) if you do not want to receive the vaccine for moral or religious reasons. If you have questions about whether the vaccine exemption applies to you, speak with an immigration lawyer. We can analyze your specific situation so that you avoid legal mistakes throughout the immigration process.
Approved vaccines are those authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or World Health Organization (WHO). If approved vaccines are available, applicants must take all required doses. Further, they must also provide evidence to the physical panel before exam completion.
Acceptable Proof of Vaccination
Acceptable proof of vaccination is the documentation component of the CDC’s new COVID-19 vaccine requirement. You should obtain an official record or certified copy of your medical chart, test results, or doctors’ notes. USCIS will not accept proof of self-administered or self-reported doses as satisfactory.
Green card Applicants Should Prepare Now
If you are hoping to immigrate to the US, schedule your medical examination now. This strategy will help you avoid delays related to the new requirement. Those who arrive in the US unvaccinated should get their required doses as soon as possible.
An Immigration Lawyer Offers Guidance
In February 2021, the US reopened the Green Card program and ended a year-long legal immigration ban imposed in 2020. Are you thinking about immigrating to the United States? If so, a New Jersey immigration lawyer at L.P. Taylor Law wants to help you make the transition as seamless as possible.
Free Initial Consultation with L.P. Taylor Law
You have legal rights when immigrating to the US, and our legal team wants to protect them. Find out more about how we can assist you or your loved ones during a Free Initial Consultation by calling +1 (800) 707-0092 or send us a confidential message here. We look forward to learning more about your legal needs.