Prior to the recent pandemic, a handful of vaccines were required by the United States. Many of these vaccines were already commonplace in several countries.
The introduction of COVID-19 changed quite a bit about the world around us, including the immigration policy in the United States. The U.S., like many other countries, now has updated its vaccination requirements for new immigrants.
Here’s what you should know about the vaccines required to become a U.S. citizen.
There is flexibility
While you do need to complete each series of required vaccinations, in most cases, you do not need to have every dose in the series before leaving for the United States. Since several of the necessary vaccines include more than one dose, applicants must receive at least one dose of each vaccine for the immigrant medical exam.
A civil surgeon will perform your exam and assess your medical records. Only the civil surgeon can complete your exam paperwork (Form I-893), so it is essential to bring any proof of vaccination paperwork with you so the civil surgeon can make an accurate assessment.
If you are missing vaccinations, the civil surgeon may administer them during your exam, or you may need to bring proof from your private healthcare provider at an additional appointment.
What about the COVID-19 vaccine?
The COVID-19 vaccine is now part of the required schedule of vaccines required for immigration to the United States and applies to most age groups.
If you are traveling to the United States, there are also requirements before traveling by air. Currently, the United States requires anyone traveling by air to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Regardless of the vaccine you choose, you are not “fully vaccinated” until two weeks after the last dose in the vaccination series.