[COLUMN] COVID-19 vaccinations required starting October 1, 2021

STARTING on October 1, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (or CDC) is requiring all immigrant visa applicants over the age of 12 to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. This includes people within the U.S. applying for adjustment of status, or outside the U.S. applying for immigrant visas. Vaccinations would not apply to people applying for nonimmigrant visas, but everyone must have a negative COVID test taken three days before traveling to the U.S.

Embassies around the world are encouraging immigrant visa applicants to already begin the vaccination process now if they are not yet vaccinated. Fully vaccinated means the person has completed the vaccine series, which is typically two doses or shots taken over 28 days. You need to present your vaccination card to the panel physicians at the time of your medical exams.  According to USCIS, adjustment of status applicants subject to the immigration medical examination must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before the civil surgeon can complete an immigration medical examination and sign Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record.

I know this new requirement is important for controlling the spread of COVID-19. But I also realize that for many of you, especially those outside the U.S., this could result in additional delays, depending on the country you’re being processed at, in terms of availability of the vaccines, lockdowns, travel restrictions, etc.

We will continue to give you updates about embassy openings, scheduling of interviews, and the new and ever-changing requirements. For the latest information on immigration, make sure to like my Facebook page @gurfinkellaw, share, and subscribe to my YouTube Channel, US Immigration TV.

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Michael J. Gurfinkel has been an attorney for over 40 years and is licensed, and an active member of the State Bars of California and New York. All immigration services are provided by, or under the supervision of, an active member of the State Bar of California. Each case is different, and results may depend on the facts of the particular case. The information and opinions contained herein (including testimonials, “Success Stories,” endorsements and re-enactments) are of a general nature, and are not intended to apply to any particular case, and do not constitute a prediction, warranty, guarantee or legal advice regarding the outcome of your legal matter. No attorney-client relationship is, or shall be, established with any reader.

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