Updates to US entry requirements during Covid-19

You Now Need Covid Vaccinations to Enter the US on a Visa:

Until recently it was very difficult to travel to the US from numerous places in the world. The Trump Administration had limited travel to the US for visa holders due to the Covid pandemic. Early on the Biden Administration maintained many of those limits. That has now changed. The rules differ depending upon whether you are traveling to the US on a non-immigrant visa, applying for an immigrant visa (green card) or entering the US as a US citizen or permanent resident (green card holder).

The vaccination requirement is a new rule to enter the US

Non-immigrants

The non-immigrant category covers tourist visas, work visas, investment visas, student visas and other similar non-immigrant visas. As of November 8, 2021, almost all non-immigrants must be vaccinated against Covid19 to even board a flight to the US. Only certain vaccines are acceptable. Those include the Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson and Johnson, AstraZeneca and a few other vaccines. In addition, such travelers must also receive a negative Covid test three days before flying.

There are a few limited exceptions to the vaccination requirements. These include children under the age of 18, people who can document bad medical reactions to the vaccines, foreign diplomats, US military personnel, travelers from areas that have limited Covid vaccine availability and a few other very limited situations. In these cases, the traveler must be having received a negative test of Covid within the past day or have documentation that they recovered from Covid within the past 90 days.

Immigrants

To immigrate to the US and receive a green card, an immigrant must undergo a medical exam by a certified US doctor. Part of the exam includes a review of the immigrant’s vaccination history. Immigrants are always required to have certain vaccinations to immigrate to the US. These include vaccinations for polio, tetanus, hepatitis, mumps. Measles, rubella and a few other diseases. Many of these vaccinations often are administered when the immigrant was young. If the immigrant was not vaccinated against these diseases or cannot produce proof of vaccination, then the examining doctor often will administer the vaccine at the exam. There are some exceptions to the vaccination requirements, such as proving that the immigrant had an adverse reaction to the administration of certain vaccines. Failure to have the requisite vaccinations will render the immigrant inadmissible to the US until they have been vaccinated.

As of October 1, 2021, most immigrants to the US also are required to be vaccinated against Covid19 by one of the approved vaccines listed above. Similar to the non-immigrant category, there are limited exceptions to the vaccination requirement, such as children under the age of 18. If the immigrant is not vaccinated against Covid19, then he/she will be considered inadmissible to the US and not be eligible to receive an immigrant visa from a US embassy or adjust status in the United States.

US Citizens and Green Card Holders

For US citizens or green card holders who are not vaccinated against Covid19 and who seek to enter the US, they must receive a negative Covid test within one day of the flight’s departure or produce a recovery certificate from Covid19 showing they recovered from Covid within the past 90 days.

Skip to content