Sheppard Mullin’s Travel Checklist – New Travel Restrictions for Vaccination for Entry into the United States: Air and Ground Rules Effective November 8, 2021

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Previous COVID-19 travel bans revoked on November 8, 2021

On October 25, 2021, President Biden announced the suspension of travel bans related to COVID-19 from Brazil, China, India, Iran, Ireland, Schengen area , South Africa and the United Kingdom. Previously, a derogation from the national interest exception was required. With this new proclamation, the White House announced a global vaccination requirement for all adult foreign air travelers and authorized the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to provide specific regulations. The White House announcement can be found here.

Key provisions of the new air travel restrictions

The waiver of the national interest exception (NIE) is no longer valid for travel: Any traveler who had a valid NIE exemption from the United States Embassy or Consulate can no longer use it to enter the United States from November 8, 2021. They were canceled by the White House repeal country-specific travel bans. Instead, the new vaccination rules will apply to all air travelers to the United States from any country in the world.

General – Must be fully vaccinated: As of November 8, most foreign air travelers to the United States will need to be fully immunized and provide proof of their immunization status before boarding a flight to the United States. There will only be limited exceptions. See the US Department of State FAQs here.

Acceptable vaccines: Must have FDA or World Health Organization approval. Accepted COVID-19 vaccine combinations are acceptable. 14 days must have passed since the last dose of vaccine was received before boarding a flight to the United States

Proof of vaccination: The traveler must present the airline with a paper or digital document issued by an official source at the time of boarding. The record must include the name and date of birth of the traveler, as well as the vaccine product and date (s) of administration for all doses received by the traveler.

  • Children under 18: These travelers will be exempt from the vaccination requirement. However, children between the ages of 2 and 17 must take a pre-departure test. If a child is not fully immunized and is traveling with a fully immunized adult, he or she may show evidence of a negative viral test from a sample taken within three days of departure (as per the schedule for fully immunized adults. vaccinated). If an unvaccinated child travels alone or with an unvaccinated adult, he or she must prove a negative viral test from a sample taken the day after departure.

Exception for countries with low vaccination rates and foreign nationals coming with a work visa: The CDC has listed 50 countries (mostly in Africa and the Middle East) that have vaccination rates of 10% or less. For these countries, citizens on a work visa can enter the United States without vaccines, but must provide negative test results one day before boarding, as well as agree to self-quarantine for 7 days after departure. arrival, have another test 3-5 days after arrival, and then must be vaccinated within 60 days of arrival in the United States if they plan to stay in the country for 60 days or more Tourists with a B-1 or B-2 visa will not be allowed into the United States from these countries without vaccination. See the full CDC guide here.

Other limited exceptions to the vaccination requirement: Diplomats, children under 18, those with medical contraindications to COVID-19 vaccines, humanitarian or emergency exceptions, air and sea crew members and those admitted to the hospital. national interest.

Religious / moral exception not available: There are no exceptions under the Presidential Proclamation and CDC Ordinance for religious reasons or other moral beliefs.

  • Number of days for required tests: A 3 day pre-departure test is actually 4 days – that is, a flight departing on Thursday will require a negative test result taken on or after Monday. For a test 1 day before departure, this will require that the test be passed the day before the flight or the day of the flight.
  • Self test: A self-test can be used if it meets the requirements of the order, including real-time monitoring by a telehealth service affiliated with the test manufacturer and which generates a test result that can be reviewed by the airline prior to the test. baording.
  • S. Citizens and legal permanent residents: If not vaccinated, U.S. citizens and permanent residents can still board a plane and be admitted to the United States, but must present the airline with a negative test result within 24 hours of boarding.
  • Get to the airport early due to the lengthy screening process for COVID-19: Airlines will be responsible for properly reviewing all vaccination documents for each traveler prior to boarding. This should create longer queues and delays in the pre-boarding process.

Travel restrictions at CBP land borders: As of November 8, travelers from Mexico and Canada who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can enter the United States for non-essential purposes, including visiting friends and family or for tourism, via land and sea border crossings. Travelers will be required to have appropriate documents that provide proof of vaccination.

Beginning in early January 2022, DHS will require all inbound foreign travelers crossing land or sea ports of entry into the United States, whether for essential or non-essential reasons – be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof of related vaccination. This approach will allow essential travelers such as truckers, students and healthcare workers enough time to get vaccinated. See: Secretary Mayorkas to allow fully vaccinated travelers from Canada and Mexico to enter the United States at land borders and ferry crossings

  • General guidelines for monitoring expiration dates of travel documents: Care should be taken in monitoring all expiration dates, including:
  • Passport Expiration – make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months beyond your intended stay, otherwise the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) may deny entry or severely restrict the period of stay.
  • ESTA visa exemption registration expiration or visa expiration registration.
  • If you are entering on a work visa, the expiration date of the petition (PED).
  • I-94 expiration of authorized stay issued by CBP at port of entry. To get an I-94, visit the official website here.
  • Sheppard Mullin’s immigration practice provides a solid range of services to employers, including general counsel, human resource managers, executives, scientists, engineers, software developers, investors and entrepreneurs. Contact your lawyer Sheppard Mullin or the authors for further assistance.


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