LATEST NEWS: COVID-19 Visa and Travel Status Update
**UPDATE** February 4, 2021
Always check the CDC website for the complete list of accepted vaccines for travel into the U.S. In recent months, Novavax/Covovax and Medicago have been added to the list of vaccines that the CDC has indicated fulfill vaccination requirements for travel to the U.S.
Also, all foreign nationals who are not lawful permanent residents and are entering the U.S. at land ports of entry and ferry terminals must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. COVID-19 test results are not needed for entry at the land borders.
Beginning December 6, 2021 ALL air passengers, regardless of vaccination status, must show a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 1 day before travel to the United States. The window is specifically "1 day before" rather than a more limiting "24 hour" period. Note that this shortened testing period applies to U.S. citizens and permanent residents as well. The CDC website has a helpful page with details about the Requirement for Proof of Negative test or documentation of recovery.
As of November 8, 2021, COVID-19 Travel Bans have been lifted for fully vaccinated air travelers to the United States. There are new requirements, effective immediately, for showing proof of approved vaccination and either a negative test or proof of recovering from COVID within the past 90 days. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website contains important details and answers to frequently asked questions, such as which vaccines are approved, what kind of test is accepted, and within how many days one must take a COVID-19 test before intending to arrive in the U.S., which is based on vaccination status and age. See below for a list of key links for further information. Always check for the very latest information directly from the CDC.
There are narrow exemptions to the proof of vaccination rules, including: children under 18, those who have severe allergic reactions to the vaccine, those who need to travel for emergency or humanitarian reasons, and those who are traveling on non-tourist visas from countries with low-vaccine availability, as determined by the CDC. If you travel by air to the United States under one of these exceptions, you will be required to attest that you are exempt from the requirement to present Proof of Being Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19 based on one of the exceptions listed by the CDC.
It should be noted that travelers who receive an exception will generally be required to attest they will comply with applicable public health requirements, including, with very limited exceptions, a requirement that they be vaccinated in the U.S. if they intend to stay in the country for more than 60 days.
- Requirement for Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination for Air Passengers
- Non-U.S. citizen, Non-U.S. immigrants: Air Travel to the United States
- Limited Exceptions to Requirement to Show Proof of Vaccination (non-U.S. citizen, non-U.S. immigrant)
- CDC List of countries with limited COVID-19 vaccine availability
- Biden Administration Fact Sheet on International Air Travel System
- White House Proclamation Confirming End of Travel Bans and Implementation of New Global Travel Rules
WHAT CONSTITUTES BEING FULLY VACCINATED?
The following is directly from the CDC website:
Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19 means it has been:
- 2 weeks (14 days) since a person received one dose of an accepted single-dose-series COVID-19 vaccine (e.g., Janssen/J&J); OR
- 2 weeks (14 days) since a person’s second dose in a 2-dose series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine; OR
- 2 weeks (14 days) since a person received the full series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine (not placebo) in a clinical trial; OR
- 2 weeks (14 days) since a person received the full series of a Novavax (or Covovax) COVID-19 vaccine (not placebo) in a phase 3 clinical trial; OR
- 2 weeks (14 days) since the person received 2 doses of any “mix-and-match” combination of accepted COVID-19 vaccines listed in Table 2 (above) administered at least 17 days apart. 1,2
LAND BORDERS WITH CANADA AND MEXICO
The U.S. began allowing fully vaccinated foreign nationals to cross the land borders from Canada and Mexico for nonessential purposes on Nov. 8. U.S. border officials warn of possible delays at land-entry points, as they anticipate high levels of traffic while officers try to verify compliance with public-health measures. The U.S. will further amend its border rules in January 2022. At that time, foreign nationals entering the country for essential purposes will also have to be fully vaccinated.
If you'd like to view previous updates relating to COVID-19 travel policies and National Interest Exception (NIE) waivers, before the lifting of the ban went into place, please click here. To confirm: NIEs are no longer required as of November 8, 2021.