Is COVID-19 a basis for inadmissibility based upon health related grounds? Get your vaccine or don’t get your green card?

The current pandemic of COVID-19 has been determined by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) under the International Health Regulations, and it creates unique challenges for the immigration-related medical evaluation. COVID-19 meets the definition of a quarantinable communicable disease under 42 USC 264 and Executive Order 13295, as amended by Executive Order 13375 and 13674. Specifically, COVID-19 meets the definition of severe acute respiratory syndromes as specified by Presidential Executive Order 13674external icon (issued July 31, 2014), thus making it a Class A Inadmissible Condition.

Applicants, defined in these Technical Instructions as people applying for adjustment of status for US permanent residence, are medically screened well in advance of adjustment of status. Thus, a negative screening for COVID-19 at the time of the medical evaluation does not guarantee the applicant will not have COVID-19 at the time the applicant becomes a Lawful Permanent Resident.

A combination of vaccination and routine infection control practices will provide the best protection from COVID-19 for applicants and US communities. These instructions provide information about COVID-19 vaccination for applicants. The instructions in this document are to be followed for COVID-19 vaccination among applicants from all countries and are effective as of October 1, 2021.

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