Today, President Biden issued a Proclamation on Advancing the Safe Resumption of Global Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic revoking the country-specific COVID-19 related travel bans imposed in 2020. The so-called COVID travel bans are thus lifted as of 12:01am Eastern Standard Time on November 8, 2021. This means that non US citizens nonimmigrants traveling to the United States by air will be required to present proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or, in some cases, provide proof of pre-departure testing for COVID-19, as determined by the Director of Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
There are limited exceptions, some of which include noncitizens seeking to enter as foreign government officials, crew members of an airline, or members of the U.S. Armed Forces. There will also be an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement for entry to the U.S. due to age, medical contraindication, or for humanitarian or emergency reasons, as determined by the CDC Director. The Secretary of Health and Human Services, through the CDC Director will implement the Proclamation and establish the relevant procedures. This is welcome news for foreign nationals seeking to travel to the U.S. by air, and would apply to those whose flights depart on or after Nov. 8, 2021 after 12:01am EST.
Importantly, this Proclamation affects only entry to the United States and does not impact the visa issuance process. More guidance on the implementation of the Proclamation is expected in the upcoming days.
If you have specific questions, please contact your immigration professional at Larrabee Albi Coker LLP.
This update was prepared by Teodora D. Purcell, Partner, Larrabee Albi Coker LLP.
Legal Disclaimer: This e-blast is provided for informational purposes only and does not substitute for legal advice based on the circumstances of a specific matter. Immigration laws and policies change frequently, often without notice. It is therefore important to seek direct legal counsel based upon individual circumstances.