When applying for a VISA during the pandemic, plenty of countries are now requiring stricter medical requirements. The US is one of them and with their growing list of banned countries, they are also requiring travelers from outside the country to be vaccinated.
According to the news, those who are applying for a green card are required to have their full COVID vaccination. This took effect October 1, 2021, and was ordered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC.
Furthermore, the CDC also added COVID vaccinations as part of the list of vaccinations for permanent residence applicants. This medical requirement applies to permanent residence applicants. Medical exams are usually done by physicians who work under contract with the immigration service of the Department of Homeland Security or DHS.
What is The Process of Submission
Cases can be delayed if an applicant isn’t fully vaccinated. But vaccinations are permitted for the US civil surgeon or a panel physician who is conducting the medical exam. Below are the medical requirements that you need.
- Bring proof of your full COVID-19 vaccination. The vaccine used needs to be authorized for use in the US. Or listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization or WHO.
- Bring your COVID-19 Infection Test. This is an additional protocol for applicants who are applying abroad. The said applicants need to be tested for infection once they report symptoms of COVID.
- Submit information on close contacts of persons with COVID infections. Immigrant applicants who had close contact with COVID positive persons won’t be able to clear medical exams until after their 14 days of quarantine.
Applying For a US VISA under COVID in A Nutshell
Delays will face applicants who do not have their COVID vaccination proof. The medical exam should be done within 14 days of submitting medical information. Immigrant applicants need to get their test results after two weeks.
Bring your valid passport to the medical exam. Have it stamped by a civil surgeon or physician who is authorized to perform the medical examination required for US VISAs. For
Applicants who are not COVID positive can travel to any country without quarantine. But if symptoms of infection show up during medical exams, you might need extra medical examinations.
What Form do you Need to Submit After Your Medical Examination?
The approved civil surgeon completes what you call a Form I-693. This is a Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record. It is needed during medical examinations for VISA applicants.
The medical exam results are sent to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services or USCIS, which will then forward them to the DHS immigration medical unit. The medical information usually takes around 3-4 weeks from the time of examination.
Compared to previous requirements, the new protocols are highly different. Only those records with valid dates of receipt will be accepted. The receipts also need to include the manufacturer and lot number.
In cases that the applicant doesn’t have proof of getting the vaccine, then the civil surgeon or the panel physician can vaccinate the applicant during the medical exam.
The full medical records can be requested by competent medical practitioners or physicians, but they cannot be requested directly by the applicant.
For more information, you may ask or consult with Houston immigration lawyers.