All persons immigrating to the U.S. are required to have medical examinations which include proof of vaccination against a wide range of communicable diseases, including measles, polio, mumps, diptheria and others. On October 1, 2021, USCIS updated its requirements for immigrants to include vaccination against the virus known commonly as Covid-19.
Starting this month, USCIS announced that it would only accept the latest version of CIS Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record. The new version of the form requires the USCIS-authorized Civil Surgeon to confirm that an alien immigrating from abroad or applying for adjustment of status in the U.S. has been twice vaccinated with an approved vaccine against Covid-19.
If an immigrant applicant completed his/her medical examination prior to October 1, 2021, the signed Form I-693 may still be used. After that date, the new form – with the Covid-19 vaccination requirement – must be used.
Please note that not all persons are required to be vaccinated against Covid-19. In particular, for the Covid-19 vaccine – as for all vaccines, doctor’s may waive the requirement when:
• The administration of the vaccine is not age-appropriate
• The administration of the vaccine is medically contra-indicated
• The administration of the vaccine is not medically advisable because of the time interval between the last documented dose and the next required dose
• The vaccine is not available
It is also possible to request a waiver of the vaccination requirement on “religious or moral” grounds. If an applicant objects to vaccination based on religious or moral convictions, the applicant must file a Request for Waiver of Inadmissibility (Form I-601) with USCIS accompanied by evidence that he/she:
■ is opposed to all vaccinations in any form (not only to COVID-19 vaccine);
■ is opposed based on religious beliefs or moral convictions; and
■ is sincere in their belief or conviction.
The request for waiver requires a filing fee of $930 per applicant and must be accompanied by supporting documentation to demonstrate the three factors above. USCIS is presently taking approximately 5-7 months on average to requests for waiver.
For additional information on USCIS vaccination requirements and procedures for waiver, click here.