Applying for a US Green Card means that you have to complete a medical exam along with the required vaccinations. The US government has specific guidelines for which vaccines are required for Green Card applications and who can administer the vaccines.
Find the details regarding the vaccination requirements for a Green Card detailed below.
What Vaccines Are Required For Green Card?
You have to get the following vaccines for your Green Card application:
- COVID-19 vaccine
- Tetanus and diphtheria
- Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib)
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Meningococcal disease
- Pneumococcal disease
- Seasonal influenza
Before 2009, you were also required to get a vaccine for HPV (human papillomavirus) and zoster vaccines, but these are no longer needed.
Vaccination Criteria For US Green Card
To consider your vaccination valid and complete, you have to follow these guidelines as stated by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP):
- You must receive at least one dose for each vaccine, but you must have two doses of the Covid vaccine. You can find the COVID-19 vaccines that are accepted in the United States here.
- You must be vaccinated against diseases that are risked as possible outbreaks.
- You must be vaccinated against diseases that are extinct or almost extinct in the USA.
- You must receive an age-appropriate vaccine.
Considering that some vaccines are administered in series and months/years apart from each other, you’re not required to complete all doses of vaccinations at once during the medical exam (except for Covid). However, you should be mindful to complete the series of vaccinations later on.
Green Card Vaccination Requirements According to Age
These are the age-appropriate vaccines as stated by the CDC and the USCIS:
|Vaccine Type According to the Disease||Requirement According to the Age Group|
|Tetanus and diphtheria
|2-11 months (DTP/DTaP/DT)
7-10 years- sometimes (Td/Tdap)
11-65 years (Td/Tdap)
|Measles, Mumps, and Rubella||12 months to 64 years (if born in 1957 or later)|
|Rotavirus||6 weeks to 8 months old|
|Hib||2 months to 59 months|
|Hepatitis A||12 months to 23 months|
|Hepatitis B||From birth to 18 years old|
|Meningococcal||11 years to 18 years|
|Varicella||Over 1 year|
|Pneumococcal||2 months to 59 months (PVC)
Over 65 (PVS or PPSV)
|Influenza||Over 6 months|
Where Can I Receive the Vaccines Required For a Green Card?
You can receive your vaccines at one of the selected doctors by the US government. Depending on whether you are out of the US or not, you can use one of the following options:
- A US embassy doctor (Panel Physician).
- A doctor appointed by the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) (Civil Surgeon).
US Embassy Doctor (Panel Physician)
If you apply for a Green Card in your home country, you must get the necessary vaccines from a panel physician. Panel physicians are a number of licensed and trained doctors appointed by a US embassy or consulate to conduct medical examinations and vaccine administrations for immigration purposes.
During your visit with a panel physician, you have to provide your medical and vaccination history. Afterwards, the doctor will determine whether the administration of all the required vaccinations is necessary or not.
Your physician will provide you with a copy of your DS-3025 (Department of State Vaccination Documentation Worksheet), which is a record of all your vaccinations. You need a copy of this form to present it to healthcare providers, schools and institutions after you enter the US.
USCIS Doctor (Civil Surgeon)
If you are in the United States, you have to get your vaccinations administered by a civil surgeon when you apply for your Green Card. During your appointment, your civil surgeon will look at your medical history and see which vaccinations are required for immigration purposes.
Once the vaccines are administered, your civil surgeon will provide you with a completed Form I-693 in a sealed envelope, after which you will present it to USCIS.
Important: You must sign the form in your civil surgeon’s presence.
What If I Already Have Some of The Required Vaccines?
If you are up-to-date with the required vaccinations, then you don’t need to receive extra vaccines. Instead, your appointed doctor will record your vaccinations and put them in your form (I-193 or DS-3025). You may also opt to get the vaccines by your regular physician, but your civil surgeon is in charge of completing the vaccination assessment Form I-693.
How Do I Prove I Have All The Required Vaccines for a Green Card?
You can prove that you have received all the required vaccinations by submitting your medical records or an international vaccination chart. However, the US government won’t accept oral reports without being supported or confirmed by a doctor or other medical professionals with written records.
Are Vaccines Required For Children Moving to The US?
Yes, all children who are moving to the US must be vaccinated. The only exception is cases where a vaccine may be a medical risk to the child, or the child has already been vaccinated.
Do I Have to Pay For Vaccination?
Yes, you are in charge of paying for any vaccinations if required. Usually, the price per vaccine is $20, but this may vary depending on which country you are in and, in the US, which state you are in.
Vaccination Waivers for Green Card Applicants
In the following cases, you may be exempt from receiving all the required vaccinations for your Green Card:
- Exemption for Medical Reasons.
- Exemption for Non-Medical Reasons.
- Exemption for Certain Adopted Children.
Exemption for Medical Reasons
You may be medically exempt from vaccination requirements only in the following cases:
- Not age-appropriate. If a vaccine is considered “not age-appropriate” for you, your doctor won’t administer it. They should note why the vaccine was not given, and it should be recorded as “not age-appropriate.”
- Medical risk. If one of the vaccines may cause you harm, then your doctor won’t administer it. This may be in cases where you are allergic to one of the vaccines, had a previous reaction, or have a medical condition that prevents you from receiving a specific vaccine. In this case, your doctor has to record the exemption under “contraindication”.
- Not the right time to receive vaccinations. Vaccines are administered within a specific timeframe, and if there is an insufficient time interval between the doses, you won’t receive the vaccine. Your doctor will record the waiver under “insufficient time interval”.
- Influenza vaccine is not available. This particular vaccine is usually administered in fall up to early spring when it’s available. If it’s not possible to administer it during your Green Card application, then your doctor will note the exemption under the “not flu season” reason.
Exemption for Non-Medical Reasons
You are exempt from receiving your vaccinations if any of the following applies to you:
- Religious exemptions. You can request a waiver of the vaccination requirement if you want because of your religious and moral beliefs. For this exemption, you are required to submit the waiver request at USCIS and in this case, they will decide whether to grant your exemption and not your doctor. You can find the waiver request form here.
You can also refuse to get vaccinated, but your vaccination card will be marked as incomplete, and you will be denied entry into the United States.
Exemption for Certain Adopted Children
Usually, adopted children from outside of the US are required to get all their vaccines. However, a child under ten years of age can be exempted from vaccination if:
- As the adoptive parent, you sign an affirmation that you will make sure the child completes the vaccinations within 30 days of entering the US.
- The child is being adopted through the Hague Adoption Convention, and you will complete their vaccinations after they enter the country.
- The child already has completed the required vaccinations, in which case the doctor must fill in form DS-3025.
Please note that if you adopt the child from the Philippines or China, they may still be required to complete their vaccinations.