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New Requirement for Green Card Applicants; Must Be Vaccinated – Immigration Lawyer New York
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New Requirement for Green Card Applicants; Must Be Vaccinated

By Michael H. Markovitch, Esq. on August, 30, 2021

Effective immediately, those applying from within the United States must show proof of vaccination during the immigration medical exam.

Green card applicants will now need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to immigrate to the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it will now require green card applicants applying from within the United States to show proof of vaccination when attending the immigration medical exam. The exam is a necessary step in the green card application process to ensure the applicant has no known health conditions that would make them inadmissible to the United States.



Applicants must be fully vaccinated and show evidence of vaccination to the physician during the medical exam. Many of the available COVID-19 vaccines require two shots, spaced a few weeks apart, for full protection. If an applicant has only received one dose at the time of their scheduled medical exam, they are permitted to return and complete the rest of the exam after they have gotten the second dose.


Acceptable forms of proof are:

  • Official vaccination record
  • Copies of a medical chart
  • Record should include the dates (month, day, and year) the applicant received the vaccine
  • Name or manufacturer and lot number should be included if available
  • The document should not appear to have been altered

A lab test showing natural immunity from a prior COVID-19 infection will not be accepted.


Reasons for exemption from this requirement:

  • Age: Applicants who are too young to receive the vaccine (as of Aug. 2021, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is approved for people older than 12, while Moderna and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) is approved for those 18 years or older).
  • Contraindications: Those who have a medical condition that prevents them from receiving the vaccine.
  • Not routinely available: Those who live in a state where there is a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Religious or moral convictions: Applicants can request a waiver based on religious or moral convictions. They will need to submit their waiver request to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and it is up to USCIS whether or not to grant the waiver.

If an applicant refuses the vaccine even if there is no medical reason for doing so, their vaccine requirement form will be marked as incomplete during the medical exam, and they won’t be allowed to enter the United States.


For further information or questions you may have please do not hesitate to contact The Law Offices of Michael H. Markovitch

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