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HomeNewsLocal NewsCDC Issues New Immigrant Visa Applicants Guidelines, COVID-19 Vaccination Mandatory

CDC Issues New Immigrant Visa Applicants Guidelines, COVID-19 Vaccination Mandatory

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by Kevon Browne

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN) – Earlier this week (August 30) The US announced that starting on October 1, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is requiring that all Immigrant Visa applicants over the age of 12 be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

To contain the spread of the virus, the CDC determined this a necessary step in the United States’ fight against the pandemic.

Non-immigrant visas, tourist and student visas do not require this new step.

The critical things to note according to CDC:

A COVID-19 vaccine listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO) or licensed or authorised for emergency use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), currently only the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, are acceptable vaccines.

Applicants with symptoms of COVID-19 should be tested and postpone the immigrant visa medical examination until they have recovered.

Who can waive this new requirement?

People who are not age-appropriate depending on the vaccine stipulations. For example, Pfizer the range is 12 years and up and AstraZeneca 18 and up.

If an applicant has a contraindication or precaution to the approved COVID-19 vaccine formulation, they are exempt.

If none of the approved COVID-19 vaccines is routinely available in your country

A waiver based on religious or moral convictions, the applicant is exempt. This is not a blanket waiver. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will determine if this type of waiver is granted.

For more information on the new requirement in detail, visit https://www.cdc.gov/immigrantrefugeehealth/panel-physicians/covid-19-technical-instructions.html

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