U.S. to lift travel entry bans for non-citizens effective November 8 – Immigration

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U.S. restrictions on international travel will be lifted on Nov. 8 for international visitors and fully vaccinated temporary workers, including those from nearly three dozen countries that have not been allowed entry into the country since the start of the pandemic. U.S. citizens and permanent residents remain subject to current COVID-19 testing requirements.

This alert is an update of our Immigration Alert of October 19, 2021.

The Biden-Harris administration announced on October 25 that presidential proclamations restricting entry into the United States will be repealed, in effect at 12:01 am EST on November 8, 2021, and that new guidelines will come into force that will suspend the entry of unvaccinated non-immigrant non-citizens, except in limited circumstances.

As of the Effective Date, all non-citizens who are non-immigrants (e.g. visitors, work visas, students, exchange visitors, etc.) traveling to the United States United by air will be subject to new entry requirements. Those seeking to enter a land and / or sea port of entry will not be subject to the new guidelines. These new measures will also allow not apply to travelers who are on a flight to the United States that departed before the effective time and date.

IMPORTANT UPDATES AND LINKS

IMMUNIZATION MANDATE & EXCEPTIONS

As of 12:01 a.m. EST on November 8, 2021, all non-citizen air travelers must

  • provide proof of complete vaccination against COVID-19;
  • provide proof of pre-departure testing for COVID-19;
  • wear a face mask during the trip;
  • if applicable, provide proof of the organization of a COVID-19 test after arrival in the United States; and
  • if applicable, provide proof of the organization of self-quarantine or self-isolation in the United States.

These individuals must also agree to comply with any applicable public health precautions established by the Director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Any non-national air traveler who is not fully vaccinated and admitted under limited exceptions must agree to be vaccinated against COVID-19 within 60 days of arrival, or in accordance with a deadline set by the CDC director. These people must provide proof that they have made arrangements to be vaccinated before leaving for the United States. Exceptions to this requirement, as determined by the CDC Director, include the following:

  • Non-citizens entering the United States for a brief period
  • Non-nationals for whom vaccination would be inappropriate due to age
  • Non-citizens who have participated or are participating in COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials
  • Non-nationals for whom vaccination would be medically contraindicated
  • Non-citizens for whom the CDC director determines COVID-19 vaccination is not warranted.

OTHER EXEMPTIONS FROM VACCINATION AND TESTING

The COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirement does not not apply to the following classifications of non-nationals:

  • Non-nationals who are crew members of airlines or other aircraft operators
  • Non-nationals seeking entry or transiting through the United States in any of the following categories: A-1, A-2; C-2; C-3 (as an official of a foreign government or a member of the immediate family of an official); E-1 (as an employee of TECRO or TECO or members of the employee’s immediate family); G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4; NATO-1 to NATO-4, or NATO-6 (or seeking to enter as a non-immigrant in one of these NATO classifications)
  • Non-nationals whose travel falls within the scope of Article 11 of the UN Headquarters Agreement or who are traveling in accordance with a legal obligation of the United States (as evidenced by a letter of invitation from UN or other documents indicating the purpose of such travel)
  • Non-nationals for whom vaccination would be inappropriate due to age
  • Non-citizens who have participated or are participating in COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials
  • Non-nationals for whom vaccination would be medically contraindicated
  • Non-nationals granted exemption for humanitarian or emergency reasons by the director of the CDC
  • Non-nationals who are citizens of a country in which COVID-19 vaccinations are not widely available and who apply for entry under a nonimmigrant visa (with the exception of a visa B-1 or B-2). These countries are defined as those in which less than 10% of the population has been fully immunized with a COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC director has also been authorized to include additional countries on this “limited access” list, even though more than 10% of the population is vaccinated.
  • Non-nationals who are members of the United States armed forces, or the spouses or children of such a person
  • Non-nationals seeking entry as a sea crew member in one of the following categories: C-1 or D nonimmigrant visa
  • Non-nationals whose entry would be in the national interest.

All guidelines set out above are subject to decisions made by the CDC Director and will remain in effect until the President ends it. The CDC continues to update its guidelines for international travel and the implementation of the proclamation on its international travel website.

NO IMPACT ON THE ISSUANCE OF VISA

The proclamation emphasizes that the new guidelines apply to matters of entry or admissibility, but do not affect the issuance of visas.

Accordingly, individuals should not be required to provide proof of compliance with the aforementioned guidelines during visa appointments, and consular scheduling and visa processing should not be adversely affected by the proclamation. Proof of compliance will be required upon boarding and at the time of inspection for admission to the United States.

POLICY OF GUIDELINES

Airlines have been ordered to deny boarding to non-nationals who do not comply with the aforementioned measures. Those facing long wait times for a National Interest Exception (NIE) to the current admission bans are recommended to reschedule their flights to enter the United States after November 8.

US citizens and lawful permanent residents are not affected by this proclamation. However, they remain subject to the already existing testing requirements mandated by the CDC.

WHAT CONSTITUTES “FULLY VACCINATED”?

As stated in our previous alert, “fully vaccinated”, for the purposes of the new entry requirements, means that individuals must have completed a period of two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose series (such as Pfizer / BioNTech or Moderna), or a single dose vaccine (such as the Johnson & Johnson vaccine).

Travelers should be fully immunized with vaccines approved or authorized for emergency use by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or those that have been listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization. health (WHO). These vaccines currently include Moderna, Pfizer / BioNTech, Janssen (Johnson & Johnson), AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria), Covishield, Sinopharm and Sinovac. Sputnik V, developed by the Gamaleya National Center, has not yet been licensed. Certain participants in the AstraZeneca and Novavax COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials are also eligible for entry under the new directive.

The CDC has indicated that mixed doses of COVID-19 vaccines would be acceptable for the purpose of proving full vaccination. Such situations include cases in which the first dose was administered with a Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine and the second dose was administered as a Moderna vaccine.

Learn more about travel guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination.

This article is provided as a general information service and should not be construed as providing legal advice on any specific matter.

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