Lifting of COVID-19 Travel Ban in November 2021 / Global COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement for all travelers to the United States starting November 2021

On September 20, 2021, numerous media outlets reported that the White House will lift the current geographical Presidential Proclamations that limit travel to the United States from certain countries (Schengen Area, Ireland, United Kingdom, Brazil, China, India, Iran, and South Africa) in November 2021, and will instead impose a vaccination requirement on all foreign travelers to the United States. The White House has yet to release specific guidelines regarding how the travel ban recission will be implemented, but what is clear is that only vaccinated foreigners will be able to travel to the United States starting November 2021.

According to the media reports, starting November 2021, foreigners traveling to the United States will only be able to enter the country if they can show that (1) they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and (2) have additionally tested negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of their flights to the United States. This testing and vaccine requirement will also apply to US citizens and permanent residents; however, unvaccinated citizens and permanent residents will still be able to enter the United States subject to more stringent COVID-19 testing requirements. Specifically, unvaccinated US citizens and permanent residents can only travel to the United States if they can present proof of a negative COVID-19 test result that was administered within 1 day of their travel to the United States. They will also be subject to COVID-19 testing upon their arrival in the United States.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is working with the White House to release specific details on acceptable tests and vaccines, as well as a Contact Tracing Order for international travelers arriving in the United States.

Until the current travel bans are rescinded in November, travelers who are impacted by the current travel bans may only travel to the United States if they qualify for an exemption or can secure a National Interest Exemption.

Foreign nationals who will need to travel to the United States starting November 2021 are strongly encouraged to secure COVID-19 vaccinations as soon as possible. We also recommend that visa applicants secure post-November visa appointments as soon as possible in anticipation of longer visa appointment wait times following the travel ban recission.

Background: In January 2020, the Trump administration began issuing geographical Presidential Proclamations (P.P.) to implement restrictions on entry to the U.S. from certain countries (Schengen Area, Ireland, U.K., Brazil, China, Iran, India, and South Africa) in response to the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic. These geographical proclamations (P.P. 9984, 9992, 10143, and 10199) suspend travel to the U.S. for any foreign nationals who have been physically present in 33 impacted countries within the immediately preceding 14 days prior to their intended arrival in the U.S. The suspension also applies to transiting through a U.S. airport or transiting through an airport of a country on the banned list. Currently, air travelers to the United States are not subject to any COVID-19 vaccination requirement but must secure a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of flying to the United States.