President Biden Rescinds Regional Travel Bans Starting November 8, 2021


On October 25, 2021, President Biden rescinded regional travel bans for foreign nationals physically present in Brazil, China, India, Iran, Ireland, the Schengen Area, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. Effective November 8, 2021, foreign nationals will need to be fully vaccinated for air travel to the United States. This includes air travel from Mexico and Canada.

According to the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) current guidance, fully vaccinated individuals are those who have received all of the recommended doses of a currently FDA-approved, FDA-authorized, or a WHO-EUL COVID-19 vaccine. As further explained by the CDC, the vaccination requirement allows for specific exceptions. This includes, children under 18 years of age; citizens of a foreign country with limited COVID-19 vaccine availability; and people whose entry would be in the national interest are exempt from the new requirements.  However, after arrival in the United States, those entering under a vaccination exception are subject to COVID-19 testing, self-quarantine, and a requirement to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine within 60 days if medically appropriate.

U.S. Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents traveling by air to the U.S. will be required to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test regardless of vaccination status. Fully vaccinated U.S. Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents will be required to be tested 72 hours prior to travel; and not fully vaccinated U.S. Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents will be required to be tested 24 hours prior to travel. See Center for Disease Control (CDC)’s guidelines.    

Although fully vaccinated foreign nationals from the affected areas will be allowed travel to the United States, those without valid visas will still face difficulties in obtaining a U.S visa for travel to the United States. Appointment availability at U.S. Embassies and Consulates continues to be limited due to significant backlogs, staffing shortages, and reduced processing capabilities because of local Covid-19 restrictions.

This alert is not legal advice. We recommend that you contact any of the following attorneys in our Firm’s Immigration Department to discuss specific concerns:

Yasmeen Farran

He Xian

Bushra Malik

Amany Kasham

Reginald Pacis

Linda Armstrong

Clara Mager

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