The growing availability of COVID-19 vaccinations has provided hope for controlling the global pandemic and relaxing international travel restrictions that have been in place for much of the last year. However, while the majority of Americans are likely to be fully vaccinated in the near future, vaccine distribution is not as advanced in many other countries throughout the world. If you are a foreign national seeking to enter the U.S. as an immigrant or on a temporary visa, you may be wondering whether getting the COVID-19 vaccine will be a necessary prerequisite.
Since the announcement of the various COVID-19 vaccines, there have been numerous rumors and discussions of a possible “vaccine passport” requiring people to demonstrate that they have been vaccinated in order to engage in activities ranging from traveling by plane to attending sporting events. However, as of yet, there is no vaccine passport program in place in the U.S. at the federal level, nor are there definitive plans to implement such a program. This could change in the coming months, but for the time being, vaccination is not a requirement for either domestic or international travel to or from the U.S., including for the purposes of immigration.
While a COVID-19 vaccine is not a requirement for entering the U.S. at the moment, international travelers to the United States are currently required to obtain a negative COVID-19 test before entering the country. Additionally, travelers from certain countries in Europe, Asia, and South America are still barred by executive order from entering the U.S. under most circumstances.
There are also a number of vaccines for diseases other than COVID-19 that are required for either immigration to the U.S. or adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence. These include vaccinations for:
The list of required vaccines is maintained by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is periodically updated to address public health needs. It is possible that COVID-19 could be added to this list, at least temporarily. If so, you could be required to present a record of your COVID-19 vaccination along with all other necessary vaccine records when applying for a visa.
With the rapidly evolving nature of both U.S. immigration policy and the global public health crisis, your immigration case is likely to be in flux. At Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices, we will do everything in our power to ensure that you stay informed about how these changes could affect your visa application or immigration status. Contact our Illinois immigration lawyers at 630-932-9100 to schedule a free consultation.
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