From October 1, 2021, all immigrant visa applicants must obtain the whole COVID-19 immunization series as part of their medical evaluation before being granted a visa. The COVID-19 vaccination must be licensed by the World Health Organization (WHO) or the US Food and Drug Administration.
Blanket waivers for immigrant visa applicant may be implemented if the COVID vaccine is not routinely available or the vaccine is not age-appropriate. Read on to learn more about it.
Blanket Waivers for Immigrant Visa Applicants
Reasons why a candidate might not finish the COVID-19 vaccination series include the following:
- Age: The age at which COVID-19 vaccinations can be administered varies depending on the formulation. This blanket waiver should be reported if the applicant is younger than the lowest age limit for the approved COVID-19 vaccine formulations in use.
- Contraindication: The “Contraindicated” reason should be documented, and the vaccination should not be administered if an applicant has a contraindication or precaution to the authorized COVID-19 vaccine formulation available. The first dose should be noted in addition to the blanket waiver if the applicant experienced a severe reaction to the first dose that is regarded as a contraindication to getting a second dose.
- Not Regularly Available: The rationale should be reported if none of the approved COVID-19 vaccinations are routinely available in the country where the panel physician operates. If an approved COVID-19 vaccination is available to the applicant, but restricted availability would result in a considerable delay in receiving it, the circumstance would be classified as “Not regularly available.”
A waiver may be requested if the applicant has religious or moral convictions. If an application disagrees with vaccination because of religious or moral convictions, it must be verified that the applicant is requesting a religious or moral convictions-based individual waiver.
This isn’t a one-size-fits-all waiver. An application for a waiver must be submitted to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The USCIS, not the panel physician or the CDC, will decide whether or not this type of waiver is allowed.
To avoid visa processing delays, it is advisable to get vaccinated or dial (818)900-5707 to discuss a blanket waiver.