Foreign nationals applying for lawful permanent resident or "green card" status, and other foreign nationals, as deemed necessary, must complete immigration medical examinations confirming they are not inadmissible to the U.S. based on health-related grounds. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) designates eligible physicians as civil surgeons to perform this immigration medical examination for applicants within the U.S. as well as to document the results of the immigration medical examination on Form I-693.
On Tues, Sept.14, 2021, USCIS announced that as of Oct. 1, 2021, all applicants who are required to complete the I-693 medical examination form must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before the civil surgeon can complete the medical examination and sign the I-693 form. Applicants requiring medical examination must 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.
USCIS may issue blanket waivers of the COVID-19 vaccination requirement if the vaccine is:
- Not age-appropriate
- Contraindicated due to a medical condition
- Not routinely available where the civil surgeon practices
- Limited in supply and would cause significant delay for the applicant to receive the vaccination
Also, foreign nationals may apply for individual waivers of the COVID-19 vaccination requirement based on religious beliefs or moral convictions by submitting Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility.
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