Traveling to the US Post-Covid Travel Ban: Requirement for Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination When Flying to the US

Traveling to the US Post-Covid Travel Ban: Requirement for Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination When Flying to the US

The US COVID-19 travel ban ended on November 8, 2021 but there still remains a US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) requirement that non-immigrant travellers to the US (that is anyone who is not a US Citizen, Lawful Permanent Resident or Immigrant visa holder) traveling by air to the US must show proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at the time of checking in for a flight to the United States or provide evidence that they fall under an exception to the vaccination requirement.

The current requirements for non-immigrant visa holders (known as “covered individuals”) to enter the US is that they must show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at the time of checking in for a flight to the US. If a person is not fully vaccinated, they will not be able to board a flight to the US unless they meet the criteria for an exception which includes:

  • 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 (See list for updates effective June 28, 2022)
  • 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:

  1. 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;
  2. You will self-quarantine for a full 5 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
  3. You will self-isolate if the result of the post-arrival test is positive or if you develop COVID-19 symptoms.

Depending 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.

For more information about what each exception category has to attest to, see the attestation.

If you are a noncitizen nonimmigrant and are fully vaccinated, make sure your vaccine and proof of vaccination are acceptable to check into a flight to the United States. The US government has put the burden on the airlines to confirm that a nonimmigrant is vaccinated so you should check with your airlines on what is required to check in for a flight to the US.

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

This blog is for informational purposes only and not intended to be legal advice. If you require specific advice from a US visa and nationality lawyer you may be able to book a consultation with one of our lawyers. Please click here for more information about our consultations.