All Green Card Applicants Must Now Be Vaccinated for COVID-19 | Illinois Immigration Lawyer
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All Green Card Applicants Must Now Be Vaccinated for COVID-19

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b2ap3_thumbnail_shutterstock_1859217856-min.jpgWhen a person applies for a green card seeking either lawful permanent status or as a refugee, there are certain criteria that they must meet in order to be considered. One of those criteria is vaccinations. An applicant must show proof they have received a number of vaccines, including measles, mumps, polio, and rubella. As of October 1, there is one more thing that they must comply with, and that is having proof they have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

USCIS Announcement

In September, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS),in partnership with the United States Department of State (DHS), announced that all green card applicants will be required to show proof that they are fully vaccinated at the medical exam that is also required to obtain their green card.

The new requirement is based on guidelines that have been issued by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) that every applicant must complete the series of COVID-19 vaccines and provide documentation to the civil surgeon who is performing the required medical exam. In their guidelines, the CDC clearly outlines what those required vaccine series are based on which type of vaccine the applicant has received. The three acceptable series are the Pfizer-BioNTech, the Moderna, and the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) brands.

Exceptions to the Requirement

There may be some applicants who will not be required to have the COVID-19 vaccine, however, acceptable reasons are stringent:

  • The applicant is too young to receive the vaccine (there are no vaccines available for children under 12)

  • The applicant has a specific medical situation where the vaccine would be harmful (also referred to as a contraindication), such as an allergic reaction to the vaccine

  • The vaccine was not widely available in the region from which the applicant is coming from

 The applicant can also object to the vaccine under religious or moral reasons. However, their green card application may be rejected if USCIS decides not to issue a blanket waiver for the reason cited. The applicant may also just refuse to get the vaccine, however, the applicant should be aware that the reason will be clearly documented, and their green card application will be denied.

Contact an Illinois Immigration Attorney

If you are applying for a green card, or have any other immigration issues, having a knowledgeable Chicago immigration lawyer assisting you can prevent unnecessary delays and denials in what is often a complicated process. Call Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices at 630-932-9100 today to learn more.



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