Signature Immigration Forms (August 25, 2021, 12:45 AM PST) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued new COVID-19 Technical Instructions for Civil Surgeons that will require Green Card Applicants from all countries, who are inside of the United States seeking to adjust their status, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 1, 2021; if they want to be admissible to the United States and obtain a Green Card.

COVID-19 meets the definition of a severe acute respiratory syndrome that is a “Class A” inadmissible condition.

The COVID-19 vaccine requirement has been added to the list of necessary vaccines that Green Card Applicants should have to prevent them from contracting diseases like diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, rubella, hepatitis A and B, chickenpox, and more.

Green Card Applicants must be fully vaccinated with either the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccine (or other vaccines as recommended by the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices), and provide documentation of COVID-19 vaccination to the Civil Surgeon in person at the time of the medical appointment and prior to the completion of the medical examination. No self-reported vaccine information without the proper documentation will be accepted.

Civil Surgeons must document all acceptable vaccination history on Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record (that most likely will be updated by then), which will become the Green Card Applicant’s permanent vaccination record. If the COVID-19 formulation is a two-dose series, both doses must be documented.

This requirement will be waived for Green Card Applicants too young to receive the vaccine (less than 12 years of age), Applicants with health conditions that are likely to have severe adverse reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine, and if no COVID-19 vaccine is routinely available in the state where the Civil Surgeon practices.

If a Green Card Applicant refuses one or more doses of a COVID-19 vaccine series that is medically appropriate for the applicant, it should be documented that the vaccine requirements are not complete and that the applicant refuses vaccination. Such an Applicant is “Class A” and is inadmissible to the United States.

Some Green Card Applicants may request a waiver based on religious and moral convictions. These types of requests should be fully documented and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and not the Civil Surgeon will make the determination to grant this type of waiver.

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