COVID-19 Vaccine (or proof of vaccine) Required for Adjustment of Status Medicals Completed On or After 10/1/2021
Recently, the CDC has announced that the COVID-19 vaccine, or proof of vaccination, will be required as part of any new I-485 medicals that are completed on or after 10/1/2021. A link to the announcement and guidance can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/immigrantrefugeehealth/civil-surgeons/covid-19-technical-instructions.html?fbclid=IwAR3Yrfx1DyDKCNwasM0VFlC_sQ1IRRy536X-5DInwXc5DeDV-bVcLAZp3tw.
Please note, this does not, at this time, apply to any medicals completed prior to 10/1/2021.
As part of this guidance, an applicant will be required to provide documentation of the vaccination to the civil surgeon in person before the completion of the medical examination. A full vaccine series (1 or two doses depending on the vaccine type) will be required. Acceptable documentation must come from a vaccination record or a copy of a medical chart with entries made by a physician or other appropriate medical personnel.
There are limited waivers for this requirement, and are broken down into two categories, blanket waivers and what the CDC calls “other reasons why an applicant does not complete a COVID-19 vaccine series.”
The blanket waivers, ones that seemingly will be granted following notation by the civil surgeon are as follows:
- If the applicant is younger than the lowest age range approved for vaccination;
- If the applicant has a contraindication (medical reason they should not receive the vaccine). The contraindication should be documented by the civil surgeon.
- If the vaccine is not routinely available in the state where the civil surgeon practices, the surgeon should document this.
An applicant may request a waiver based on religious or moral convictions. In this instance, a waiver request must be submitted to USCIS and USCIS will determine if a waiver of the vaccine should be granted or not.
If an individual refuses one or more of the COVID-19 vaccine doses without a waiver, the person will be deemed inadmissible.