Important! COVID-19 Vaccination is Required

The COVID vaccine is now required as part of the process to receive a green card. Part of the process to receive a green card includes a medical exam with a civil surgeon and the CDC, the Center for Disease Control has announced that the COVID vaccine is required.

Read More: CDC Requirements for Immigrant Medical Examinations: COVID-19 Technical Instructions for Civil Surgeons

The civil surgeon during the medical exam needs to confirm and make sure that the person who is applying for their green card has received the COVID vaccine. This will take effect on October 1st of 2021.

There are a few exceptions and the exceptions are if the individual is 12 years of age or younger, if there’s a contraindication, and if the COVID vaccine isn’t readily available.

Contraindication means there’s a medical risk that prevents them from being able to receive the COVID vaccine. If there isn’t a COVID vaccine or it’s extremely difficult for an individual to get the vaccine because there aren’t very many in the country where they live, can also be an exception.

It is likely that the individual will still have to receive the COVID vaccine once they are in the United States but those are the three exceptions currently.

Also, there is a waiver. If an individual does not want to receive the COVID vaccine, there’s a very limited waiver for religious and moral reasons. That means an individual could apply for this waiver to not have to receive the COVID vaccine.

The civil surgeon, the doctor that performs the medical exam, is not able to approve that waiver. It would be up to USCIS, to decide whether or not the waiver should be approved for a religious or moral reason.

What happens if you refuse the COVID vaccine?

If you refuse to receive the COVID vaccine and you don’t qualify for one of the exceptions and you aren’t approved for a waiver, the civil surgeon would have to note your file that you refused the COVID vaccine.

Individuals who refuse the COVID vaccine after October 1st of 2021, will be considered inadmissible. That’s an immigration term that means the person isn’t eligible and cannot receive their green card because they didn’t receive the COVID vaccine.

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