U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on 9/14/2021 that effective 10/1/2021, applicants subject to the immigration medical examination must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (one or two doses, depending on the vaccine) before the civil surgeon can complete an immigration medical examination and sign Form I-693.
This requirement is effective 10/1/2021 and applies to all Forms I-693 signed by the civil surgeons on or after that date. USCIS will also be working to update Form I-693 and the form instructions to incorporate this new requirement.
In general, individuals applying to become a lawful permanent resident, and other applicants as deemed necessary, must undergo an immigration medical examination to show they are free from any conditions that would render them inadmissible under health-related grounds. USCIS designates eligible physicians as civil surgeons to perform this immigration medical examination for applicants within the United States and to document the results of the immigration medical examination on the Form I-693.
USCIS may grant blanket waivers if the COVID-19 vaccine is:
- Not age-appropriate,
- Contraindicated due to a medical condition,
- Not routinely available where the civil surgeon practices, or
- Limited in supply and would cause significant delay for the applicant to receive the vaccination.
Individuals may also apply for individual waivers based on religious beliefs or moral convictions by submitting Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility.