USCIS announced that, effective October 1, applicants subject to the immigration medical examination must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before the civil surgeon can complete an immigration medical examination and sign Form I-693 (Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record). This update is in accordance with the CDC’s August 2021 update to the Technical Instructions for Civil Surgeons, which requires applicants subject to the immigration medical examination to complete the COVID-19 vaccine series (one or two doses, depending on the vaccine) and provide documentation of vaccination to the civil surgeon before completion of the immigration medical examination. The requirement applies prospectively to all Forms I-693 signed by the civil surgeons on or after October 1.
USCIS may grant blanket waivers if the COVID-19 vaccine is:
- Not age-appropriate;
- Contraindicated due to a medical condition;
- Not routinely available where the civil surgeon practices; or
- Limited in supply and would cause significant delay for the applicant to receive the vaccination.
Individuals may also apply for individual waivers based on religious beliefs or moral convictions.
The Department of State also announced that all immigrant visa applicants must receive a full COVID-19 vaccine series as part of their medical exam before being issued a visa at a consulate abroad. Lower age limits for the vaccine will depend on the formulation available to applicants in their country.