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United States to Lift Longstanding Travel Restrictions

Oct 21, 2021 | COVID-19 Related, Featured, Government Actions, Immigration

The White House will lift COVID-19 travel restrictions for fully vaccinated international visitors starting Nov. 8. The U.S. first placed a travel ban on anyone coming from China and it was then extended by the Trump and Biden administrations to other countries. Under the current rules, many non-U.S. citizens and non-U.S. legal permanent residents are not allowed into the U.S. if they have been in the U.K., most EU countries, China, India, Iran and Brazil in the past 14 days. In addition, the current rule required individuals to apply for a National Interest Exception (“NIE”) to secure a nonimmigrant visa at the US Consulate and/or bypass the 14-day quarantine requirement when entering from one of the countries subject to the travel ban. 

The new travel regulation will dismantle these current travel restrictions. Vaccinated individuals traveling with a Visa Waver Program ESTA approval, on existing valid visa, or applying for a new visa will not need to seek government approval of a national interest exception (NIE) prior to travel from a country currently affected by the travel ban. Furthermore, the United States will open its land borders with Canada and Mexico.

To enter the U.S., foreign nationals must show proof of being fully vaccinated and must arrive with a negative Covid-19 test result taken in the three days prior to arrival. The United States will accept vaccines authorized by the U.S. or listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization. This includes Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer-BioNTech, two versions of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, Sinopharm and Sinovac.

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