On October 15th, a Twitter announcement by the White House stated that beginning November 8th, the United States will implement a new travel policy. Accordingly, foreign nationals will be permitted entry to the United States, provided only that they have been fully vaccinated. Moreover, there will be very limited exceptions to these vaccination requirements. Importantly, the travel ban will effectively be lifted for both land and air entries.
A list of vaccines has been approved and authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has updated as the list of vaccines accepted for air travel to the United States. Moreover, an Emergency Use Listing (EUL), updated by the World Health Organization, has also been included in the accepted vaccines. FDA-approved vaccines include those vaccines produced by Johnson and Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer, and BioNTech. Vaccines approved for emergency use include Sinopharm, Sinovac, AstraZeneca, and vaccines produced by the Serum Institute of India.
Notably, international travelers will be required to show vaccination evidence and a negative COVID-19 test to be taken before boarding the flight. On the other hand, those travelers entering the U.S by land will not need to show proof of undergoing a negative test for COVID-19.
The travel bans in question were first imposed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 by the Trump Administration. Countries on which the travel bans were imposed include China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, the 26 countries of the European Union, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. Moreover, non-essential travel from Canada and Mexico was also restricted through separate travel bans, specifically regarding land entries from these two countries. Notably, it was not until earlier this week that it was announced that the travel ban for Canada and Mexico would be loosened.
As indicated in the White House’s Twitter announcement, the travel ban will be lifted via a phased approach, with November 8th set as the date to effect the first phase, under which travel restrictions for non-essential travel will be lifted. The second phase will be initiated in early January of 2022.
For many business travelers worldwide, the lifting of the COVID-19 travel bans is welcome news, as many of them have been frustrated by the lack of possibility to enter the United States. The exception to this is the possibility of securing national interest exceptions in advance from U.S ports of entry or consular posts.
However, it must be noted that the lifting of travel restrictions does not offer any relief to the consular backlogs wrought by the pandemic concerning immigrant and non-immigrant visa appointments. Lastly, it is expected that a more formal announcement detailing access to the United States will be forthcoming.
If you have questions or want to access additional information about US or Canadian Immigration and Nationality Laws, please feel free to get in touch with the immigration and nationality lawyers at the NPZ Law Group. If you have more questions about how these laws in the US may impact you or your family, contact the lawyers specialized in US Immigration and Nationality laws at our law firm. You can always send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can call us at 201-670-0006 (x104). In addition, we invite you to find more information on our website at www.visaserve.com