Vaccine Requirement for Future U.S. Residents
All prospective permanent residents of the U.S. are required to complete the immigration forms provided by the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) to be eligible to receive a green card.
There are numerous documents needed to fully finish this process which can be found in more detail at the end of this article.
Form I-693 is a medical exam required by aliens seeking adjustment of status that contains a medical report and a vaccination record, completed, and signed by an approved panel physician or civil surgeon of the USCIS.
If you are an immigrant or refugee planning on coming to the United States, then you must find a panel physician accepted by the US Embassy in their home country.
Those seeking adjustment of status that are already in the U.S. need to find an appropriate civil surgeon.
Staring October 1, 2021, the COVID-19 vaccine will be required for all individuals applying for permanent residency in the United States, as well as for the application of adjustment of status and those applying for immigrant visas at U.S. Consulates abroad.
So, what happens if you have submitted your application prior to October 1st?
If your medical exam was completed and signed by an approved physician before October 1st, then you may continue to use the prior edition of the I-693 form, but you are advised to make sure the form is completed in its entirety and signed accurately.
In most cases and for those individuals who are only beginning the adjustment of status process, they will be required to receive the entire series of an approved COVID vaccine which includes Pfizer-Biotech, Moderna, and Janssen (Johnson and Johnson) vaccines.
Unless the applicant is not age appropriate to receive the vaccine as determined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, an applicant may request a waiver based on religious or moral convictions that is not considered a blanket waiver, and therefore, must be approved by the USCIS. If an applicant simply refuses one or more doses of an approved COVID vaccine that is medically appropriate for and available to the applicant, this applicant is considered Class A and is inadmissible to the United States.
In some rare circumstances, it is possible for applicants with a Class A physical disorder to petition for a Class A waiver by completing the Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility.
The CDC of Global Migration and Quarantine and the USCIS oversee reviewing these waivers and supporting medical documentation to provide an opinion on the applicant and ultimately decide.
The general purpose of the medical exam required to enter the United States as a lawful resident is to identify applicants with inadmissible health-related conditions such as infections with a communicable disease of public health significance, lack of necessary vaccination documentation, a physical or mental disorder with associated harmful behavior, or abuse of drugs.
If you are not yet vaccinated, you should start the vaccination process and complete the full series of shots as soon as possible to prevent future delays in the process of your application.
Documents required to file I-485 adjustment of status:
- Form I-485 application
- Birth certificate
- Copy of passport page with non-immigrant visa
- Colored photographs
- Form I-693 medical exam
- Form G-325A biographic information
- As well as multiple other optional forms and documents regarding employment, travel, etc..
If you have any questions about your existing application with us or if you are just now beginning this process, let us make it as easy and stress-free as possible.