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Starting 11/8/2021: New COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination Requirements for Travel to the USA

by | Nov 2, 2021 | Immigration, News

Effective November 8, 2021, all travelers to the United States by air must attest to their COVID-19 vaccination status and undergo testing.

All foreign nationals who are not immigrating to the US must be fully vaccinated. This includes all non-immigrant visa holders.

U.S. citizens and US permanent residents (green card holders) are not subject to these vaccine requirements.

Fully-vaccinated travelers to the U.S. (including U.S. citizens traveling back to the U.S.) must continue to provide a negative COVID-19 test based on a sample taken within 3 days prior to travel or documentation of recovery in the previous 90 days. See Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on what constitutes full vaccination here.

In general, people are considered fully vaccinated (Annex) against COVID-19:

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

Unvaccinated travelers to the U.S. (including U.S. citizens traveling back to the U.S.) two years of age or older will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test taken within one calendar day of traveling or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the previous 90 days. U.S. citizen travelers who are younger than two years of age will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test taken within three calendar days of departure or documentation of recovery in the previous 90 days. If unvaccinated children are traveling with their parents, they will follow the same testing requirements as their parents. The CDC requires either a PCR test or an antigen test.  Antibody tests are not accepted. For more information, see International Travel During COVID-19

As previously reported on our blog: As of October 1, 2021, all immigrant visa applicants are required to be fully-vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to pass the required medical exam.

NOTE: Although these policy changes are expected to facilitate travel for many foreign nationals, processing backlogs at U.S. consulates will likely increase and make it lengthier for travelers who need a U.S. visa to enter the U.S.

If you have any questions, please contact David Hirson & Partners, LLP.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)