Because of a recent Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) order, full vaccinations for COVID-19 will be required as of October 1, 2021, for green card applicants. There are a few limited exceptions to the requirement.
Basically, if you complete a medical exam (I-693) October 1, 2021, or thereafter, you must be vaccinated. This will be true weather you have the exam done in the U.S. or abroad.
If the medical exam is completed before October 1, 2021, and the exam results are within the 2- year validity period, the vaccination is not required.
The exemptions include: (1) minimum recommended age not attained, (2) the vaccine is not safe because of an individual's specific medical condition, (3) an approved vaccine is not available in their hoe country. Proof of any assertion will be necessary. It's also possible to apply for an individual waiver on religious or moral grounds but immigration authorities retain full discretion to approve or deny.
Written documentation proving vaccination is required. Saying you had it will not work. Proof includes (1) an official vaccination record, (2) a medical chart with entries, (3) valid medical personnel attestation.
Because the full vaccination regime can take time to complete, people need to be aware of this new requirement and plan accordingly.