How Does Vaccination Status Impact Your Travel to the U.S.?
- Most nonimmigrant, non-U.S. citizen travelers entering the U.S. by air must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination; this requirement does not apply to U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, U.S. lawful permanent residents (Green Card holders), or other non-U.S. citizen who has a visa listed in “Immigrant Visa Categories” on the U.S. Department of State’s webpage Directory of Visa Categories. This includes:
- Non-U.S. citizens eligible for asylum;
- Non-U.S. citizens eligible for withholding of removal;
- Non-U.S. citizens eligible for protection under the regulations issued pursuant to the legislation implementing the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment;
- Non-U.S. citizens admitted to the United States as refugees;
- Persons with a visa 92 or 93 (Follow-to-Join) status; and
- Non-U.S. citizens granted parole into the United States.
- Persons on diplomatic or official foreign government travel;
- Children under 18 years of age;
- Persons with documented medical contraindications to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine;
- Participants in certain COVID-19 vaccine trials;
- Persons issued a humanitarian or emergency exception;
- Persons with valid visas (excluding B-1 (business) or B-2 (tourism) visas) who are citizens of a foreign country with limited COVID-19 vaccine availability;
- Members of the U.S. Armed Forces or their spouses or children (under 18 years of age);
- Sea crew members traveling with to a C-1 and D nonimmigrant visa;
- Persons whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, Secretary of Transportation, or Secretary of Homeland Security (or their designees); and
- You agree to be vaccinated against COVID-19; and
- You have arranged to become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 within 60 days of arriving in the United States, or as soon thereafter as is medically appropriate.
- All air passengers ages 2 or older, regardless of citizenship or vaccination status, must show a negative result of a COVID-19 viral test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board a flight to the United States.
Non-U.S. persons entering by land or sea, however, may have a limited opportunity to enter the U.S. still, if they are not vaccinated. Those engaged in “essential travel” will not be required to be vaccinated up until January 22, 2022, including the following:
- Individuals traveling for medical purposes (e.g., to receive medical treatment in the United States).
- Individuals traveling to attend educational institutions.
- Individuals traveling to work in the United States (e.g., individuals working in the agriculture industry who must travel between the United States and Canada or Mexico in furtherance of such work).
- Individuals traveling for emergency response and public health purposes (e.g., government officials or emergency responders entering the United States to support federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial government efforts to respond to COVID-19 or other emergencies).
- Individuals engaged in lawful cross-border trade (e.g., truck drivers supporting the movement of cargo between the United States and Canada and Mexico).
- Individuals engaged in official government travel or diplomatic travel.
- Individuals engaged in military-related travel or operations.
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.
COVID-19 TRAVEL VACCINATIONS