Ukraine: Measles Vaccinations for Immigrant Visa Applicants

Last Updated: September 6, 2019

The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv disseminated the following message in Ukraine today, September 6, 2019.  Adoptive parents who believe their adoption case may be affected by this should consult with their accredited adoption service provider for guidance.  Questions may be directed to the Embassy at or to the Office of Children’s Issues at

Dear members of U.S. adoption community,

We would like to inform you of recent changes introduced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) due to the ongoing measles outbreak in Ukraine. These new requirements apply to all immigrant visa applicants, including adopted children. 

Effective August 1, 2019, regardless of measles vaccination history, all immigrant visa applicants will undergo a blood test during the medical examination to verify the presence of measles antibodies.  If the result of this test is negative, the visa applicant will be required to receive a measles vaccination before obtaining medical clearance to travel. Obtaining measles vaccinations for recently adopted children may be complicated due to the way the Ukrainian medical system works, and this could delay your travel to the United States.

If the adopted child has not previously received the full series of measles vaccinations, please make sure that the child gets a booster vaccine prior to the final medical examination. Even if the child’s record indicates full vaccination, we recommend a blood test in advance to determine whether the child has active antibodies, and if not, early administration of a booster shot since it can take up to two weeks for antibodies to register on the blood test.

All adopted children ages 0-10 years old are eligible for a vaccination waiver prior to departure, which means that they will be required to get any missing vaccinations within 30 days upon arrival to the U.S.  Children ages 11 and older are required to meet all CDC-recommended vaccination requirements, including additional measles vaccinations, if needed, before their travel to the United States.

Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this new requirement.