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Key Points

  • The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) has announced that it will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination for a Green Card and immigrant visa applicants
  • On October 1, 2021, all applicants for permanent resident status must provide documentation showing proof of COVID-19 vaccination at their medical exam
  • Exemptions are available for certain applicants due to age, vaccine availability, religion, moral grounds, and safety
  • Proof of immunity to COVID-19 does not exempt individuals from the COVID-19 vaccine requirements
  • USCIS and the CDC have yet to provide more guidance for the new requirements


Based on the current COVID-19 situation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will soon require full COVID-19 vaccination for immigrant visa and green card applicants.

What are the Changes?

Starting on October 1, 2021, all individuals applying for permanent residence status must provide documentation providing vaccination against COVID-19 during their medical exam. Applicants will need to show either an official vaccination record or provide a copy of their medical chart with written documentation from a physician or qualified medical professional demonstrating proof of vaccination. Applicants must show that they have received a full dose of vaccination.

Individuals may request an exemption for the mandate from US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in certain cases, including religious and moral grounds. Waivers are also available for individuals who meet exemption standards due to age, as well as individuals who may have an adverse reaction to the vaccine or who live in areas where vaccines are not readily available. Individuals will not be allowed to bypass the vaccine requirement by presenting documentation that shows immunity to COVID-19.

Looking Ahead

USCIS and the CDC have not yet issued specific guidance or instructions for the requirements. New information will be provided as available.

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