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COVID-19 Vaccinations Required for Applicants Applying for LPR or Refugee Status

Starting October 1, 2021, USCIS and the Department of State will require COVID-19 vaccinations for all applicants applying for refugee or lawful permanent residence, with some exceptions. Specifically, all applicants who receive their medical examination from a Civil Surgeon or Panel Physician on or after October 1, 2021, must complete the COVID-19 vaccine series and provide documentation of vaccination. This change will impact anyone who completes Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, on or after October 1, 2021. If Form I-693 is completed before October 1, 2021, and remains valid, the COVID-19 vaccine will not be required.


The proper review of vaccination documentation will be in the form of a vaccination record, copy of a medical chart with physician entries, or by appropriate medical personnel.


Exceptions: Blanket waivers are available for applicants who are too young to receive the vaccine, have a medical contraindication to the vaccine, or who do not have access to one of the approved COVID-19 vaccines in their countries. In addition, individuals may apply for an individual waiver based on religious or moral convictions with USCIS.

As a reminder, all air passengers coming to the United States, including applicants for refugee or immigrant, are required to show a negative COVID-19 test obtained within 3 days of departure, or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 3 months, before boarding a flight to the United States.

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