White House to Lift Travel Bans for Fully Vaccinated Travelers starting Nov. 8

October 29, 2021

This week, President Biden issued which eliminates the geographic COVID-19 travel bans and adopts new COVID-19 vaccination requirements for all international air travelers to the United States. The new COVID-19 vaccination requirements for international air travel will take effect on November 8, 2021.

With limited exceptions, Proclamation 10294 suspends entry of unvaccinated foreign national nonimmigrants traveling to the United States by air. As such, travelers subject to the requirements must show proof they are “fully vaccinated” with vaccines approved or authorized by the Food and Drug Administration or listed by the World Health Organization (WHO) for emergency use, as shown below and on the :

FDA Approved

  • Janssen/J&J (single dose)
  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • Moderna

WHO Emergency Use Listed

  • Janssen/J&J (single dose)
  • Pfizer-BioNTech
  • Moderna
  • AstraZeneca
  • Covishield
  • BIBP/Sinopharm
  • Sinovac

Individuals will be considered “fully vaccinated” after two weeks of receiving the last dose of a vaccine, the first dose of an approved single-dose vaccine, or any combination of two doses of an approved vaccines (mix and match).

Exceptions to the vaccination requirements include:

  • Children under 18 years old
  • Certain candidates who have participated or are participating in clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccination
  • Individuals for whom approved COVID-19 vaccination is medically contraindicated
  • Humanitarian and emergency exceptions relating to the travelers’ health and safety
  • Citizens of countries with less than 10% of the population vaccinated with any available COVID-19 vaccine entering on valid nonimmigrant visa that is not a B-1/B-2
  • Members of U.S. Armed Forces and their spouses and children
  • Individuals whose enter would be in the “national interest” as determined by the Secretaries of State, Transportation, Homeland Security or their designees.
  • Certain diplomats or persons on official government travel
  • United Nations travel
  • Certain sea crew members
  • Certain airline crew members

There is no exception to the new vaccination requirements for religious or moral reasons.

In addition, all vaccinated travelers, including U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and foreign nationals traveling to the U.S. on nonimmigrant and immigrant visas, must show proof of a negative viral test result (NAT or PCR) within 3 calendar days of travel to the United States. All unvaccinated travelers will be required to show proof of a negative test taken within 1 day of travel to the United States.

The geographic COVID-19 travel bans that will expire on November 8 applied to the UK, Ireland, all Schengen countries, China, Iran, South Africa and Brazil. Many foreign nationals who were present in these regions within 14 days of travel to the U.S. were required to submit requests for national interest exceptions (NIEs) to gain entry into the United States. While NIEs may still be available for unvaccinated travelers in limited instances, under the new travel restrictions vaccinated foreign national nonimmigrants will no longer be required to obtain an NIE prior to traveling to the United States.

Please feel free to contact our office for more information on the new travel requirements.