On July 24, 2008, USCIS announced changes to the vaccination requirements for applicants for adjustment of status, requiring the following additional vaccinations:
- Hepatitis A
- Human papillomavirus
Note: Some of these vaccinations are required for certain age groups only. During the examination with the civil surgeon, he or she will review the vaccination history, and may determine that certain vaccinations are not necessary.
When will the new vaccination requirements become effective?
The new vaccination requirements actually became effective on July 1, 2008. However, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved a 30 day grace period until August 1, 2008.
Therefore, for any medical exam conducted on or after August 1, 2008, the new vaccinations, if appropriate, must be administered in order for USCIS to approve the applicant for adjustment of status.
After the announced changes to the vaccine requirements, the CDC informed USCIS that the Zoster vaccine is currently unavailable due to shipping delays by the manufacturer. The Zoster vaccine is one of the new vaccination requirements for applicants age 60 and older and is listed on the revised edition of Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record (06/05/08 edition date). Until further notice from the CDC, a Form I-693 may be accepted if it is missing the zoster vaccine. Civil surgeons may notate it on the form as “vaccine not available.”
USCIS has revised the Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record (Form I-693) to include these new vaccination requirements. The June 5, 2008 edition of Form I-693 must be used for any medical examination completed on or after August 1, 2008.
Note that USCIS does not require that all shots in each vaccine series be completed before applying for adjustment of status, but the applicant must have received all the required age-appropriate vaccines that could be given at the time of the medical exam. If the applicant has started the vaccination series, but is not able to complete all the required shots because, at the time of the medical exam, the minimum time interval between shots has not passed, the applicant may still apply for adjustment of status. A waiver is available in cases where, due to required time intervals, it was impossible for the applicant to receive all shots in the series before submitting the application for adjustment of status.
For example, the Hepatitis A vaccine requires that applicant receive two doses of vaccine, six months apart. If the applicant receives the first dose in January, he or she does not have to wait until July, when the second dose would be given, to submit the adjustment of status application. However, the applicant must have received at least the first dose of the vaccine, if appropriate, before applying for adjustment of status.