Integrity Legal

Posts Tagged ‘Vaccinations’

18th March 2021

The overall Immigration system in both the United States and Thailand have been in a state of flux for a number of months. The transition in Administrations in the United States has had a number of effects upon the Immigration apparatus as a whole, most recently the Secretary of Homeland Security announced changes with respect to the public charge rule. To quote directly from the Department of Homeland Security website:

Today, DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced that the government will no longer defend the 2019 public charge rule as doing so is neither in the public interest nor an efficient use of limited government resources.

“The 2019 public charge rule was not in keeping with our nation’s values. It penalized those who access health benefits and other government services available to them,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “Consistent with the President’s vision, we will continue to implement reforms that improve our legal immigration system.”

President Biden’s Executive Order on Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans called for an immediate review of agency actions on public charge inadmissibility and deportability. DHS’s review, in consultation with the Departments of Justice and State and the federal benefits-granting agencies, is ongoing.

Clearly, this represents a sea change with respect to immigration policy on issues associated with acting as a sponsor for an intending immigrant or in cases where adjustment of status is involved. This is likely to have a tremendous impact upon processing of cases such as the K1 Visa, the K3 Visa, the CR1 Visa, and the IR1 Visa. In K-1 visa cases, those acting as sponsors must file an I-134 affidavit of support while the I-864 applies to immigrant visas. Hopefully, the recently announced policy change will benefit those seeking these types of visas.

Meanwhile, it seems officials in Thailand are going ahead with easing of quarantine measures. The process of lifting the quarantine is slated to occur in phases, with phase 1 set to commence in April. There are to be 4 phases of the quarantine easing with phase 2 (so-called “area quarantine“) set to commence at the beginning of the summer and apparently the Kingdom will open much more in October. Much of the reopening appears contingent upon the broad adoption of so-called vaccine passports, with certificates of entry to be phased out in favor of that documentation. Notwithstanding these announcements, it now appears that quarantine will continue albeit on a truncated basis, with those who can prove prior vaccination and a clear COVID test able to enjoy 7 days of quarantine (as opposed to 14 days) beginning in April. Those unvaccinated with a clear COVID test will only be compelled to quarantine for 10 days.

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12th January 2010

In a recent posting on the American Immigration Lawyers Association website the author noticed a revised list of the vaccinations that are required for those seeking Immigration benefits for the United States. Below is a direct quote from the AILA publication:

Under the immigration laws of the United States, a foreign national who applies for an immigrant visa abroad, or who seeks to adjust status as a permanent resident while in the United States, is required to receive vaccinations to prevent the following diseases:
Mumps
Measles
Rubella
Polio
Tetanus and Diphtheria Toxoids
Pertussis
Influenza Type B
Hepatitis B
Any other vaccine-preventable diseases recommended by the Advisory Committee for
Immunization Practices

This information could prove useful for those assisting a prospective immigrant. This being said, the rules and required vaccinations can be subject to frequent changes. Also, the US Embassy in Bangkok maintains a list of hospitals that are permitted to conduct medical examinations for US Immigration purposes. This list is subject to change and as a result those seeking medical examination for visa obtainment purposes would be wise to contact the United States Embassy in order to obtain the most up-to-date information.

In recent months, the United States Department of State and the Center for Disease Control have changed some of the rules regarding communicable diseases and United States Immigration. HIV has been taken off of the list of diseases that will act as a bar to admission into the United States. Therefore, those who previously were inadmissible to the USA due to the fact that they had HIV no longer need an HIV waiver (also known as an I-601 waiver) to overcome their inadmissibility and may now be eligible to enter the United States provided they meet other Department of State and USCIS requirements.

The United States government has a responsibility to make sure that those entering the USA are not carrying diseases that could pose a threat to the American Citizenry. To this end, Embassy staff and Civil Surgeons at overseas hospitals take their job very seriously. In Thailand, a major issue for some applicants is Tuberculosis. Some applicants are found to have or have had TB. In these situations, a battery of tests must be conducted in order to ensure that the disease has been eradicated and the applicant is no longer contagious.  For those who had TB in the past, a thorough search of the applicant’s medical records is conducted in order for the Civil Surgeon to be certain that the applicant no longer poses a threat to others. Although sometimes frustrating, the Medical Examination process is a necessary component of the due diligence conducted by the United States Embassies and US Consulates abroad.

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