Big Changes for Covid-Related Travel Requirements!

President Biden has recently issued a new Presidential Proclamation that rescinds geographic Covid travel bans. Instead, beginning November 8th 2021, there will be Covid vaccination requirements for international air travelers to the US.

The new Proclamation applies to nonimmigrants (temporary visa holders) entering the US. It does not apply to US citizens, green card holders, or those entering on immigrant visas. Please note that testing requirements are still in place for international flights (see below). In addition, the Covid vaccination requirements should not affect visa issuance. Instead, a person must show that they meet the requirements or that the fit an exception before boarding a flight.

Those who are affected by the new Proclamation must present proof of vaccination to the airlines, before boarding the plane. To meet the vaccination requirements, a person must be fully vaccinated. A person is fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last dose of a vaccine, or two weeks after a single dose vaccine. The vaccine must be one approved by the FDA or WHO and currently includes:

  • Janssen/Johnson & Johnson (Single Dose)
  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • Moderna
  • AstraZeneca
  • Covishield
  • BIBP/Sinopharm
  • Sinovac

Exceptions to the Covid Vaccination Travel Requirements:

There are limited exceptions to the Covid vaccination requirements for travel to the US. The requirements do not apply to children under the age of 18. In addition, if you are a citizen of a country where there is limited vaccine availability you may qualify for an exemption.

Testing Requirements:

Everyone who enters the US, whether they are a US citizen, green card holder, visa holder, etc, and whether the Proclamation applies to them or not, will be required to have a negative viral test within three calendar days of travel to the US. This rule applies regardless of a person's vaccination status.

Duration of Covid Vaccination Travel Requirement:

The Proclamation will be in effect indefinitely.

Please also note that even though the geographic Covid related travel bans are no longer in place as of November 8th, 2021, we still expect that there will be limited availability of visa interview slots at many consular posts across the world. Be sure to plan ahead, and to double-check the ever-changing Covid-related travel requirements not only for the US, but for all countries you will visit, before you make travel plans.

If you need help navigating the immigration process with confidence, please contact us today to get the process underway! We are immigration lawyers in Richmond, VA but we serve clients throughout the US and around the world. You can call us at 804-396-3412 or send us an email at info@sumnerimmigration.com. We look forward to hearing from you!