New COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements for Air Travelers to the U.S.
Text below was copied from the CDC Website on 10/26/21
Noncitizens who are nonimmigrants and seeking to enter the United States by air are required to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States from a foreign country.
If you are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you will NOT be allowed to board a flight to the United States, unless you meet the criteria for an exception under the Proclamation and CDC’s Order.
Categories of noncitizen nonimmigrants that meet the criteria for an exception under the Proclamation and CDC’s Order include:
- 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)
If you travel by air to the United States under one of these exceptions, you will be required to attest that you are excepted from the requirement to present Proof of Being Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19 based on one of the exceptions listed above. Based on the category of the exception, you may further be required to attest that:
- You will be tested with a COVID-19 viral test 3–5 days after arrival in the United States, unless you have documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days;
- You will self-quarantine for a full 7 days, even if the test result to the post-arrival viral test is negative, unless you have documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days; and
- You will self-isolate if the result of the post-arrival test is positive or if you develop COVID-19 symptoms.
Based on the category of the exception, if you intend to stay in the United States for longer than 60 days you may additionally be required to attest that
- 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, unless (for children) you are too young to be vaccinated.
A parent or other authorized person should attest on behalf of a passenger under 18 years old. An authorized person may attest on behalf of any passenger who is unable sign their own attestation (e.g., because they are too young, or because of physical or mental impairment).
For additional information on recommendations and requirements before and during travel to the United States and after arriving in the United States, visit Non-U.S. citizen Non-U.S. immigrants: Air Travel to the United States
Accepted COVID-19 Vaccines
Review the CDC website and navigate to the "Accepted COVID-19 Vaccines" section.
Entering the U.S. By Land
The CDC order/presidential proclamation above only applies to air travel. However, land crossings from Canada and Mexico will require proof of vaccination starting in January 2022. For more details, see this fact sheet from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
COVID-19 Testing Requirements for Entry to the U.S.
In addition, all fully vaccinated travelers to the U.S. must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 1 day of their departure to the U.S. For more information, see the CDC website.
Previous National Interest Exceptions No Longer Apply
The presidential proclamation and CDC order supercede the national interest exceptions (NIEs) that allowed F-1 and J-1 students to enter from countries otherwise subject to a COVID related travel ban. All noncitizen nonimmigrants, including F-1 and J-1 students, will be required to comply with the vaccine mandate for entry to the U.S.