Starting October 1, new immigrants to the United States must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said in a press release on Tuesday.
People seeking to become “lawful permanent residents” – or green card holders – are allowed to live in the United States and possibly apply for citizenship. Applicants for permanent residence must undergo a medical examination.
The Covid vaccine joins a list of others applicants must have, including vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella, polio, and hepatitis A and B, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Some people may be exempt from the new rules, including those who are too young to be vaccinated and those who have health problems that make injections unsafe for them.
About 54% of the US population is fully vaccinated against Covid-19, and some people have started to receive boosters.
The new requirement for those seeking permanent residence in the United States is in line with President Biden’s new mandates on vaccines for federal workers and contractors. The Pentagon has announced that military personnel on active duty must also be vaccinated.
Mr Biden has overturned several Trump-era immigration rules, including a ban on legal immigration that Donald J. Trump implemented at the start of the pandemic.