New Vaccine Mandate For All Visa Applicants, Including Adoptees
Effective October 1, 2021, the US Department of State issued a notice saying that the CDC is requiring all immigrant visa applications, including adoptees, to receive a full COVID-19 vaccine series as part of their medical exam before they can be issued an entry visa to the US.
When Does It Come Into Effect?
According to this US Department of State Notice, if you are adopting a child whose medical exam was already completed before October 1, 2021, this isn’t applicable to you. However, if your child is still due to go thru the medical exam – which in most cases is one of the last steps – then your adopted child would have to be vaccinated before they can be issued a visa.
What Age Is this Applicable To?
According to the notice, the lower age limit for the COVID-19 vaccine will depend on the formulation available to applicants in their country. For any of the vaccines authorized or licensed for use by the US FDA, applicants should use the US FDA age limits. This means the current lower age limit for these vaccines are 12 years and older for the Pfizer vaccine, and 18 years and older for the Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines. If the age limit is lowered by the US FDA for any of these vaccines, then please act accordingly if allowed to do so in the country of origin.
In summary, if applicants have access to the Pfizer vaccine at this time, then everyone 12 years of age and older will be required to receive a COVID-19 primary vaccine series. If the Pfizer vaccine is not available, and one of the other approved vaccines are available, then everyone 18 years of age and older will be required to be vaccinated.
The US Department also says that: “If the approved age limits are lowered by the WHO for any of these vaccines, please act accordingly.”
This raises the question, given the current info that Pfizer is now allowed for 5 – 11 year olds, whether this means this mandate is applicable to kids starting at age 5? At this time we do not have an update on this question. If you would like to contact the Department, the email listed on their site is:
Can I Get a Waiver?
It would seem that the Department describes 2 types of “waivers”. These are “BLANKET” waivers and individual waivers based on religious beliefs or moral convictions by submitting Form I-601.
Waiver Type: BLANKET Waiver
According to the notice, blanket waivers for the COVID vaccination will be applied in countries where the vaccine is not routinely available or when the vaccine is not age appropriate. This blanket waiver is already used with other routine vaccinations in places where vaccines may be in short supply. If someone cannot be vaccinated due to this limitation, or a requirement in the country prohibits certain age groups from receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, then the “Not age appropriate” blanket waiver applies
Panel physicians may grant blanket waivers if the COVID-19 vaccine is:
- Not age-appropriate;
- Contraindicated due to a medical condition;
- Not routinely available where the panel physician practices; or
- Limited in supply and would cause significant delay for the applicant to receive the vaccination.
If you are wondering whether your country is eligible for this “blanket waiver”, the best folks to address your questions or concerns to would be the Department of State:
Waiver Type: Religious or Moral Conviction
According to the notice, Applicants may also apply for individual waivers based on religious beliefs or moral convictions by submitting Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility
Where to File?
USCIS provides instructions on where to file this form based on your circumstances. Read “Where to File” Here.
Do I Need an Attorney To File This?
Our article here is to provide information, which is already made public by the Department. Our purpose here isn’t to give you legal advice. The form, I-601, asks who is filling out the form, and asks for an attorney’s state bar number, if applicable.
Therefore, if you believe you need an attorney, it certainly is your right to hire one. If you would like us to recommend someone to you, please email us at:
Can the Government Make Me and My Children Get the Vaccine?
Again, our purpose here is to inform and educate, not provide legal advice. However, we know that international adoption agencies are being asked this question, and so we want to include it in this article.
It would appear that our elected officials, including Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and Anthony Fauci (not elected to his office) all promise to the American people that government would not mandate the vaccine, per their own words in recorded interviews over the last few months. This video of Joe, Nancy and Anthony with their promise not to mandate the vaccine is on social media and we have shared it with you, so you can draw your own conclusions.
It would appear that despite this, the President is currently mandating that businesses who have over 100 employees should be vaccinated by January 4th, or be subject to regular Covid testing per governmental rules.
Some states and some organizations (businesses) are currently seeking TROs in courts throughout the country. A TRO stands for “Temporary Restraining Order” which would strike down what is being enforced until the case can be heard in court. In some cases, TROs are getting denied, but in some cases they are getting granted. It would appear that the questions whether vaccine mandates are constitutional will be decided in upcoming court battles.
Where does that leave this mandate for you to vaccinate your children?
-Well, we don’t know.