The current pandemic of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been determined by the World Health Organization (WHO) to be a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) under the International Health Regulations. COVID-19 meets the definition of a quarantinable communicable disease under 42 USC 264 and Executive Order 13295, as amended by Executive Order 13375 and 13674. Specifically, COVID-19 meets the definition of severe acute respiratory syndromes as specified by Presidential Executive Order 13674 external icon (issued July 31, 2014), thus making it a Class A Inadmissible Condition.
Applicants, defined in these Technical Instructions as people applying for immigrant or refugee status, as well as non-immigrants who are required to have an overseas medical examination, are medically screened days or weeks prior to travel to the United States (US). Thus, a negative screening for COVID-19 at the time of the medical evaluation does not guarantee the applicant will not have COVID-19 at the time of immigration to the United States.
A combination of vaccination, strategic testing, and routine infection control practices will provide the best protection from COVID-19 for applicants and US communities. These instructions provide requirements for COVID-19 vaccination and testing for applicants. The instructions in this document are to be followed for COVID-19 when assessing applicants from all countries. These Technical Instructions are effective from October 1, 2021 until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) determines these Technical Instructions are no longer needed to prevent the importation and spread of COVID-19.
Visit the Technical Instructions for Panel Physicians webpage for more information about the medical examination for applicants for US immigration.
COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement
The US Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended COVID-19 vaccination for the age-appropriate, general US population. Therefore, COVID-19 vaccination now meets the criteria for required vaccinations and is a requirement for applicants.
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