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Our broadcast of today’s El Show Sin Fronteras is about explaining in depth the recent actions taken by the USCIS involving COVID-19 vaccines and Green Card requirements. We receive a lot of questions on this topic and want to take this opportunity to provide clear and honest information free of charge from our immigration attorney, Kate Lincoln-Goldfinch.
This pandemic has undoubtedly given rise to new normality in all areas, the way we relate to each other, how we are approaching or adapting to the new conditions we are experiencing, and of course had repercussions in the area of immigration.
USCIS Updates About COVID-19 Vaccines.
We received the updates about vaccines and the new measure that will take effect on October 1, 2021. The new law requires that all immigrants who have appointments to process or receive their Permanent Residency outside or inside the U.S., as part of their Adjustment of Status process, must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, this must be proven one day prior to their scheduled appointment date.
It is important to note that you must have both doses of the vaccine, so we recommend having your vaccines up to date because, for example, the Pfizer vaccine needs at least 21 days between doses, on the other hand, the Moderna vaccine requires at least 28 days between doses.
We advise you to organize your time and obtain documentation that you are in compliance with the vaccination requirement, in order to avoid setbacks or delays in your immigration case.
What Happens If I Choose Not To Get Vaccinated?
Proving You Are Vaccinated Has Always Been A Requirements For Green Card Applications
The answer to this question is quite simple, the USCIS and immigration agents will immediately reject cases for immigrants who are not up to date with the COVID-19 vaccination.
In fact, although it may seem like a measure never seen before, it is common for the USCIS to ask as a requirement for a Green Card to prove through certificates or medical exams that they are protected against certain diseases.
Some of the most common vaccines required are chickenpox, measles, rubella, polio, hepatitis B, in short, any other vaccine-preventable disease recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
In Kate’s experience, not meeting these requirements can cause further setbacks and delays in your application, because if you cannot prove that you have all the necessary vaccinations, your case could be filed until you can prove otherwise, and even if you give a quick response, it could be months before your case is resumed, thus jeopardizing the time you will spend separated from your family or without legal status.
As a side note, these requirements have been in place since the 1700s, where immigrants arriving by ship had to prove that they had received the necessary vaccinations for the time. It is part of the screening process used by the USCIS. It was, therefore, to be expected that the COVID-19 vaccine would be required at any time.
In Waco, you can access immunizations at several locations for free and without an appointment.
Approval Of Different Vaccines
One of the most frequent questions we receive is about what happens in those cases where the countries of origin do not provide the same vaccines that are given in the U.S., for example, the Sinovac, Sinopharm, or Sputnik Vaccines.
We consider that even though the USCIS did not specify the type of vaccine required, as long as you can prove through medical certificates or your immunization record that you received the vaccine doses, it will be sufficient to meet this requirement and move forward with your Green Card or Visa application.
What If I Can’t Get Vaccinated?
We understand that even if you have the will and the decision to get vaccinated, it may be complicated or even impossible in your country of origin, the same happens in the case of people who due to a medical diagnosis cannot receive the vaccine, or in the case of children under 12 years of age that there are still no approved vaccines.
These are the only exemptions for the new measures, in addition to the religious and moral exemptions, although in the case of the latter, you must go through a different process and write a letter explaining your reasons for receiving the exemption. Such a process will take more money and time than a regular procedure.
Whether you are applying for a Green Card, T Visa, VAWA, Asylum, or DACA, it is necessary to comply with all requirements with caution to avoid setbacks and delays in your application.
At Lincoln-Goldfinch Law we strive to provide accurate and transparent information, our staff can advise you in English or Spanish, depending on your comfort, so that you have peace of mind in a process as complex as immigration.
Visit this website for more information on COVID-19 vaccination. This way you can combat all the misinformation and myths you may see on social media.
Additional Information On Immigration Procedures
Explore Your Options With An Immigration Attorney
We received a question about how long citizenship and immigration visas are currently taking.
We would like to point out that due to the new immigration reforms and the current situation, it may take months for your case to be processed. The same happens for people who want to apply for a Permanent Residency or Immigrant Visa from their country of origin, so we recommend applying for a temporary visa to visit the United States as a tourist.
It is important to note that in the scenario that you are married or engaged to a citizen of the country, you should consult your options with an immigration lawyer in Austin, Texas, because the immigration officer once he finds out that you want to enter the country on a tourist visa to visit your partner, they may consider that you will stay in the country to apply for Adjustment of Status and deny you entry.
Do These Measures Affect Temporary Visa Applications?
At this time, the USCIS will only adopt these measures for permanent residency applicants, however, we believe that in the short term they will also be applied to applications for various temporary visas.
It is also possible to be an exclusionary requirement imposed by airlines when you want to buy a ticket to the United States, some companies require medical examinations to determine your eligibility.
We advise you to prevent any mishaps and keep your vaccinations up to date, the USCIS is taking the work to protect the country from massive contagions, and it would be a shame for you to lose your money and time invested in an application for permanent residency due to lack of vaccination.
In case you have additional questions or concerns regarding Green Card requirements 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.