New Vaccination Requirements in Effect for Travel to US
On November 8, 2021, new COVID-19 travel guidelines will go into effect for non-immigrants traveling to the U.S., requiring that all non-immigrant travelers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless they meet one of the listed exceptions. The new guidelines will apply to any traveler whose plane departs its destination at or after 12:01 AM Eastern Time on November 8. If you are traveling to the U.S. on or after that date, make sure you have been fully vaccinated or meet one of the exceptions. If you haven’t been fully vaccinated and none of the exceptions apply to you, you will have to adjust your travel plans.
The White House announced this change on October 25, 2021. The CDC has provided detailed guidance on approved vaccines, acceptable proof of vaccination status, the full list of exceptions, and more, all of which can be found here. If you have additional questions about required documentation specific to your country, we recommend that you contact your airline for guidance.
This universal vaccine requirement means that there are no longer country-wide bans for travelers coming from China, Iran, the Schengen Area, UK and Ireland, Brazil, South Africa, and India. If you are traveling from one of the previously-restricted countries, but you have been fully vaccinated, you can resume travel to the United States starting on November 8.
The new vaccine requirement does not apply to those who are already U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. However, as of October 1, 2021, new immigrants who are applying for an Immigrant Visa or Adjustment of Status will be required to receive an approved COVID-19 vaccine along with other standard, previously-required vaccines. There are several exceptions, notably including an exception for Immigrant Visa applicants whose countries of origin do not have approved vaccines widely available. You can learn more about vaccine requirements for immigrants on the CDC website or by watching our recent YouTube video.