COVID-19 Vaccination & Its Impact On Green Card Applications
"El Show Sin Fronteras"
Spanish Video Above Translated In English Below
In our today's broadcast of "El Show Sin Fronteras", we discuss a topic that has caused much uncertainty lately, we talk about whether or not it is necessary to be vaccinated to obtain a Green Card in the U.S., as usual, our immigration attorney, Kate Lincoln-Goldfinch, will explain the reasons behind this new measures, as well as their pros and cons to clear any doubts.
Remember that we frequently stream Lives where we answer all the questions that you ask us, our goal is to share honest and accurate information to combat all the fake news and rumors that arise around the immigration field.
Do I Have To Get Vaccinated To Get A Green Card?
During all the years that our attorney Kate has been practicing immigration law in Texas, and for any Adjustment of Status, whether it is a Green Card application, Asylum, humanitarian cases such as VAWA or victims of human trafficking, refugees, among others, it has been a requirement to show that you have the conventional vaccinations that are given during the first years, and even months, of age.
When filling out the I-485 form to obtain a Permanent Residency, it is almost certain that your application will continue with an official interview with an immigration officer. In the case of couples, these two must appear together and prove that they have a legitimate and bona fide marriage.
A medical examination will also be required at this meeting. Years ago, it was sufficient to bring a medical examination regardless of the date of issue. However, these exams currently expire after one year of issue, so we recommend waiting for an appointment date to begin planning your medical exams with certainty.
These exams must be performed at one of the USCIS-approved medical centers.
Currently, these requirements have been updated and you will now be required to prove that you are vaccinated against COVID-19 as of October 2021, but we advise you to have your vaccinations up to date so that you do not have any complications or delays with your permanent residency case.
What Happens To People Who Must Return To Their Home Country
For persons who must continue their consular processing in another country, proof of COVID-19 vaccination will also be required.
Some exceptions arise for those who can demonstrate that it is highly complicated to obtain the vaccine in their country of origin, for which they must bring evidence to the interview certifying that even though they have tried repeatedly, they have not been assigned a vaccination appointment.
For individuals who received their first dose, and their second dose was scheduled for after the appointment with the immigration agents, we recommend contacting an experienced immigration attorney to explore your options.
For those whose application has been approved, but are not fully vaccinated, it is a special case that will require a thorough understanding of the circumstances of the case, as well as the type of vaccine you obtained.
For example, for the Pfizer vaccine, you need 21 days between doses, for the Moderna, this period is extended to 28 days, however, you will most likely be vaccinated immediately upon entry to the United States, or you will be assigned an appointment for it. As long as you can prove that you could not get the second dose in your home country.
Our Firm Administrator, Fidel Campuzano, takes this opportunity to inform you that at Austin Public Health you can receive vaccinations without an appointment, and they can even give you a gift card for up to $50 for going to get vaccinated.
Adjustment Of Status Definition
Adjustment of Status is one way to apply for permanent residency, and there are two processes for receiving it. Generally, Adjustment of Status can be processed once you are inside the U.S. territory, entered legally with your visa.
For example, a person who entered the country on a student visa, and overtime was able to acquire an H-1B Visa, was petitioned by his or her employer, meets the normal process for an Adjustment of Status.
For persons who entered illegally, the process is complicated by the fact that they must apply for a consular waiver, for which you should consult with an Immigration Attorney to evaluate your case.
For people who entered illegally, but are immediate family members of people serving in the military, there is Parole in Place, where they can receive a consular pardon and receive legal delivery into the country, so they can then apply for Adjustment of Status.
Is Adjustment Of Status Necessary?
We received a special question, and we want to clarify a relevant issue, the Adjustment of Status is necessary for anyone who wants to regularize their immigration status in the country.
Regardless of whether you entered the country on a K-1 fiancé visa, a work visa, or a student visa, these visas are temporary, so they do not grant you residency or citizenship rights in the country. In short, you do not have the full rights to which you are entitled once you become a U.S. citizen.
In the case of people who entered through a K-1 fiancé visa, these people have a period of 90 days from their entry into the country to celebrate their wedding in a legal way, to formalize in a certain way their relationship, after that they can apply for permanent residency and citizenship.
There are many ways in which you can adjust your status permanently in the country, but we emphasize the importance of going to a legal professional for guidance on your options and your needs.
At the same time, we emphasize not to be afraid of consular processing, to keep informed from reliable sources, and that despite the pandemic caused by COVID-19, case evaluations and Green Card or Adjustment of Status petitions are still being conducted, the USCIS is working to avoid delays and backlogs.
The information in this post does not reflect the results or conditions of a specific case and is given as a general guideline.
If you have any additional questions or concerns regarding this or any other immigration-related issue, please do not hesitate to contact us for free legal advice at (855) 502-0555. You can also follow us on our social networks Facebook, TikTok and Instagram.