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Immigration Law

CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements for Immigrants

CDC, Aug. 17, 2021

"The current pandemic of COVID-19 has been determined by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) under the International Health Regulations, and it creates unique challenges for the immigration-related medical evaluation.  COVID-19 meets the definition of a quarantinable communicable disease under 42 USC 264 and Executive Order 13295, as amended by Executive Order 13375 and 13674. Specifically, COVID-19 meets the definition of severe acute respiratory syndromes as specified by Presidential Executive Order 13674external icon (issued July 31, 2014), thus making it a Class A Inadmissible Condition.

Applicants, defined in these Technical Instructions as people applying for adjustment of status for US permanent residence, are medically screened well in advance of adjustment of status. Thus, a negative screening for COVID-19 at the time of the medical evaluation does not guarantee the applicant will not have COVID-19 at the time the applicant becomes a Lawful Permanent Resident.

A combination of vaccination and routine infection control practices will provide the best protection from COVID-19 for applicants and US communities. These instructions provide information about COVID-19 vaccination for applicants.  The instructions in this document are to be followed for COVID-19 vaccination among applicants from all countries and are effective as of October 1, 2021.

Visit the Technical Instructions for Civil Surgeons webpage for more information about the medical examination for applicants for US immigration.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended COVID-19 vaccination for the age-appropriate, general US population. Therefore, COVID-19 vaccination now meets the criteria for required vaccinations and is a requirement for applicants eligible for the vaccine.

The applicant must complete the COVID-19 vaccine series and provide documentation of vaccination to the civil surgeon in person before completion of the medical examination.  The COVID-19 vaccination requirement will differ from previous requirements in that the entire vaccine series (1 or 2 doses depending on formulation) must be completed in addition to the other routinely required vaccines."