COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement for Travel to the U.S.
February 9, 2022 | Immigration Blog
All non-U.S. individuals seeking entry to the United States via air are required to present proof of being fully vaccinated for COVID-19 before travel, by order of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) implementing a Presidential Proclamation regarding the same. All non-U.S. individuals seeking entry to the United States via land ports of entry and ferry terminals at the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders must also be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide related proof of vaccination.
These restrictions apply to non-U.S. individuals who are traveling for both essential and non-essential reasons. They do not apply to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, or U.S. nationals. There are currently no exceptions to the travel restrictions if you are not fully vaccinated.
COVID Testing Requirements for Travel to the U.S.
Since December 6, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has required all travelers entering the U.S. by air to present a negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than 1 day before departure, or proof of recovery from the virus within the prior 90 days, in order to board their flight to the U.S. Airlines are required to confirm the negative test result or proof of recent recovery for all passengers prior to boarding. According to the CDC, airlines must deny boarding of passengers who do not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery. This policy applies to all air passengers two years of age and over entering the United States (including U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents). Limited humanitarian exceptions to this requirement may be granted, but only where the country of departure lacks adequate SARS-CoV-2 testing capacity and cannot meet the requirements to provide a negative viral COVID-19 test within one (1) calendar day of departure. There are no waivers available through this process for individuals who test positive for COVID-19.
However, no COVID testing is currently required for travel across the U.S. land border. You can read about the requirements here.
Are exceptions to these rules occurring?
Lippes Mathias has received unconfirmed reports from clients that unvaccinated individuals may have still been able to enter the U.S. recently at ports along the northern border, and also that some charter flights may be resulting in U.S. admissions of unvaccinated individuals. However, we have neither confirmed that these entries are occurring or which ports or charter flight agencies are facilitating U.S. entries for unvaccinated individuals; we therefore cannot speak to the voracity of these rumors.
Please check the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and CDC websites for the latest updates on COVID-related travel restrictions and requirements.
Disclaimer: The information in this post is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from our firm or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
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