Vaccination Requirement Changes for Immigrants and Certain Nonimmigrants

November 14, 2021

By Immigration Group

This article was prepared with the assistance of ABIL, the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers, of which Loan Huynh, Fredrikson Immigration Department Chair, is a member.

The Department of State (DOS) announced that effective October 1, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Technical Instructions for panel physicians is requiring all immigrant visa applicants, all K fiancé(e) visa applicants and nonimmigrant visa applicants who are referred to the panel physicians to receive a full COVID-19 vaccine series as part of their medical exam before being issued a visa. The vaccine must be approved through either the World Health Organization or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Blanket waivers for the COVID-19 vaccination will be applied in countries where the vaccine is not routinely available or when the vaccine is not age-appropriate, DOS said. DOS “encourages all immigrant visa applicants and others subject to a medical exam to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible to not experience delays in their visa processing.”