Green Card applicants must be fully vaccinated starting October 1, 2021

Effective October 1, 2021, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will require that individuals applying for lawful permanent residence to be fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine that has either been approved for emergency use in the United States or by the World Health Organization. Applicants must provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccine inoculation to a USCIS-recognized civil surgeon or panel physician as part of the required immigration medical exam. Acceptable proof of a COVID-19 vaccinations includes official CDC vaccination cards or other official proof of vaccines, confirmation of vaccination by a physician, or physician attestation. Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, is currently being updated to incorporate this new vaccination requirement. Individuals who have completed their required immigration medical exams before October 1, 2021, and whose Adjustment of Status or Immigrant Visa applications are still pending are not required to submit proof of being vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine.

Green Card applicants may seek waivers to COVID-19 vaccination requirement for the following reasons:

• Ineligible for COVID-19 vaccine because it is not age appropriate;
• Ineligible to be vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccination due to a medical contraindication;
• COVID-19 vaccines are unavailable where a particular civil surgeon or panel physician practices; or
• COVID-19 vaccines are in limited supply and applicant is therefore cannot easily access a vaccine.

Applicants may also apply for a COVID-19 vaccine waiver on religious or moral grounds by submitting Form I-601 to USCIS.

Background: All applicants for permanent residency in the United States must complete a medical exam with a certified civil surgeon or panel physician as part of the Adjustment of Status or Immigrant Visa application process. The purpose of the medical exam is to document that an applicant is not inadmissible to the United States for medical reasons. These medical exams must be conducted by physicians, who are authorized by the USCIS to administer and document the result of immigration medical exams using Form I-693. The medical exam currently includes confirmation that applicants for permanent residency have been inoculated with a variety of vaccines. The list of required vaccines will be expanded to include a complete COVID-19 vaccination series.