DHS releases details of fully vaccinated non-citizen travelers entering the United States at land and sea border crossings
WASHINGTON – Today, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that non-citizen travelers fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and with the proper documentation will be allowed to enter the United States through the land ports of entry (POE) ) and ferry terminals from November 8, 2021. The change eases long-standing restrictions on non-essential travel, in line with public health guidelines. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will soon share additional information on the steps eligible travelers will need to take to enter the United States under the new rules.
“We are pleased to take another step toward easing travel restrictions at our borders in a way that strengthens our economy and protects the health and safety of the American public,” said Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “We continue to work closely with our international partners to implement new travel take-back rules in a sustainable manner. “
As of November 8, when arriving at a land port of entry or a US ferry terminal, non-citizen travelers should be prepared to (1) provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination, as instructed on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website; and (2) verbally attest to the reason for their trip and their COVID-19 vaccine status during a border inspection.
Any non-national attempting to enter the United States by illegal means or without the proper documents may be subject to deportation or removal. Travelers arriving at a US land port of entry or ferry terminal should be prepared to present any other relevant documentation requested by a CBP officer. U.S. citizens are reminded to bring a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), such as a valid US passport, Trusted Traveler Program card, Enhanced Driver’s License, or Enhanced Tribal Card, when re-entering the country and be prepared to present a WHTI-compliant document if an officer from the CBP requests this during a border inspection. To learn more about the updated requirements for travelers, Click here.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, CBP put in place temporary travel restrictions on March 20, 2020, which limited travel at land ports of entry along the northern and southern borders of the United States to travel essentials, including travel for legal business, emergency response and public health purposes. . People engaged in essential travel will not be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 at this time. As of January 2022, however, all inbound foreign travelers seeking to enter the United States through land ports of entry or ferry terminals – whether for essential or non-essential reasons – must be fully immunized against the COVID-19 and provide proof of related vaccination.
As travel begins to pick up, travel volumes and wait times are expected to increase. Travelers should expect longer than normal wait times and long lines at US land border crossings when planning their trip and are reminded to be patient.
To help reduce waiting times and long lines, travelers can take advantage of innovative technologies, such as facial biometrics and the CBP One ™ mobile application, which serves as a single portal for individuals to access CBP’s mobile applications and services.