26.10.2021 | USA Travel Information from November *UPDATE*
Since late January 2020, the U.S. has taken increasing measures to combat the spread of coronavirus and protect the U.S. labor market. Now, the removal of the ban on entry into the United States has been announced for November 8, 2021. Read below to see the implications for travelers, visa applicants*, and visa holders.
On October 25, President Biden announced a Presidential Proclamation entitled "A Proclamation on Advancing the Safe Resumption of Global Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic." This proclamation, which takes effect at 00:01 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on November 8, 2021, repeals the travel restrictions of Presidential Proclamations (P.P. ) 9984, 9992, 10143, and 10199, relating to the suspension of entry into the United States for persons residing in Brazil, China, India, Iran, Ireland, the Schengen Area, Südafrica, and the United Kingdom, respectively, are lifted.
In lieu of these restrictions, the President announced a global vaccination requirement for all adult foreign travelers. This proclamation applies to individuals who plan to enter the United States on a flight after 12:01 a.m. öst standard time on Nov. 8, 2021.
For more information on this global vaccination requirement, including details on exemptions and waivers based on humanitarian considerations, see Non-U.S. citizen, Non-U.S. immigrants: Air Travel to the United States | CDC.
According to President Biden's proclamation, the Department may process visa applications for individuals physically present in the affected countries beginning Nov. 8. Please note that the lifting of these P.P.'s does not necessarily mean that your ört U.S. Embassy or Consulate will be able to immediately schedule all affected applicants for a visa interview.
Who can re-enter the U.S. after when?
After November 8, 2021, all foreign nationals who travel to the United States by land or air and can demonstrate that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be allowed to re-enter the United States. This also applies to travelers from Brazil, China, India, Iran, Ireland, the Schengen Area, South Africa and the United Kingdom (= Travel Ban countries). This will make tourist travel, family visits, etc. with a visa or ESTA possible again as of November 8, 2021.
At the same time, entry into the U.S. for unvaccinated travelers from countries not named in the Presidential Proclamation, which were previously not subject to restrictions, will become more difficult starting November 8, 2021. This will affect, for example, foreign unvaccinated travelers from Japan or Canada.
In addition, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will issue a new order requiring airlines to collect contact information from U.S. travelers to enable contact tracing. It is likely that the so-called contact-tracing system will be implemented for all travelers regardless of vaccination status.
Which vaccines are approved?
Which vaccines are accepted by U.S. regulators has now been described in a bit more detail by the U.S. Public Health Service (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC).
After Nov. 8, 2021, vaccines approved or authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, and vaccines listed in the emergency use list of the World Health Organization, or WHO, will be permitted in all cases (= WHO Emergency Use Listing, or EUL). These include the following vaccines:
- Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty)
- Moderna (Spikevax)
- Johnson & Johnson (Janssen)
- AstraZeneca/Oxford (Vaxzevria and SII/Covishield)
- Sinopharm (BBIBP-CorV)
- Sinovac (CoronaVac)
Here is the list of WHO-approved vaccines.
Otherwise, individuals are considered...
- two weeks after the second dose of a 2-dose vaccination series
- two weeks after a single-dose vaccination
...as fully vaccinated.
Participants in studies for vaccines that are still in the clinical approval phase in the U.S. (e.g. Novavax) may also enter the U.S. as fully vaccinated under certain conditions.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), individuals with cross-vaccinations can be considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their last dose if they
- a single dose of an FDA-approved or WHO emergency-approved single-dose series
- have received a combination of two doses of an FDA-approved or WHO-approved two-dose series
for emergency use
Proof üof vaccination is provided by:
- Vaccination card with QR code, digital passport über smartphone application with QR code (eg COVID passport of the UK National Health Service, digital COVID certificate of the European Union)
- Print of COVID-19 vaccination passport or COVID-19 vaccination certificate issued at the national or subnational level or by an approved vaccine provider (e.g., CDC vaccination certificate)
- Digital photos of the vaccination card or document, downloaded vaccination documents or vaccination certificates from an official source (e.g., a health department, government agency, or other approved vaccine provider), or a cell phone application without a QR code
If you have recently recovered from COVID-19, you may instead travel with proof üof recovery from COVID-19 (ie. Your positive COVID-19 viral test result from a specimen taken no more than 90 days prior to departure from a foreign country, and a letter from a licensed health care provider or öpublic health official stating that you are cleared to travel).
TESTING DUTY CONTINUES TO BE NECESSARY!
The mandatory testing that has been in place since Jan. 26, 2021, for airline passengers worldwide entering the U.S. from abroad remains in place.
To continue to contain the spread of new variants of SARS-CoV-2, travelers – including fully vaccinated individuals – either within 3 days (vaccinated persons)/1 day (unvaccinated persons)be subjected to mandatory COVID-19 testing prior to departure for the United States and provide a negative test result or provide evidence üof recovery from COVID-19.
How does the new rule affect visa issuance and visa appointments?
Whether visa appointments will be released for additional categories, and if so, to what extent, also remains to be seen. We suspect that, for example, B-1 / B-2 interview appointments could be re-released with the elimination of the travel ban (likely associated with long wait times).
To this end, the U.S. Department of Labor advises: Please note that the lifting of these P.P.'s does not necessarily mean that your ört U.S. Embassy or Consulate will be able to immediately schedule all affected applicants for a visa interview. Please check the embassy/consulate website for information on what services they currently provide and how to apply for a nonimmigrant visa.
Taken from: US Visa Service - 10/18/2021 - 12:20
White House press release: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jen Psaki, September 20, 2021
TRAVEL STATE GOV press Release: Update on U.S. Travel Policy Requiring COVID-19 Vaccination
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention press release: Requirement for Proof of Negative COVID-19 Test or Recovery from COVID-19 for All Air Passengers Arriving in the United States
TRAVEL STATE GOV press release (25.10.2021): Safely Resuming Travel by Vaccine Requirement and Rescission of Travel Restrictions on Brazil, China, India, Iran, Ireland, the Schengen Area, South Africa, and the United Kingdom
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention press release (25.10.2021): Non-U.S. citizen, Non-U.S. immigrants: Air Travel to the United States