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US to Require Proof of Covid Vaccine for All Green Card Applicants

Kauff McGuire and Margolis LLP
New York, NY
August 27, 2021

visa

The US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that, effective October 1, 2021, all green card applicants will be required to provide proof that they have been vaccinated against Covid-19, and that they have received the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccine. (Other vaccines may be accepted in the future). Applicants who refuse the vaccine and do not qualify for any of the limited number of exceptions to being vaccinated will not be allowed to immigrate to the US.

The vaccine requirement will be waived for children who are too young to receive the vaccine, individuals with health conditions that are incompatible with the vaccine, and applicants from countries with no available or limited vaccine supply. Applicants may request a waiver on religious or moral grounds, but this must first be approved by USCIS. There is no waiver available for individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 and still have antibodies.

In addition to the new COVID-19 vaccine requirement, green card applicants are already required to be vaccinated against many other diseases, including tetanus, polio, measles, hepatitis and influenza.