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US to require foreign travelers to be vaccinated to enter the country as of January

The United States will require vaccinations for all border crossings beginning Jan 22.

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise nationwide, the U.S. will require non-U.S. travelers entering the country by land or water to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 beginning Saturday, Jan. 22.

The new rule affects both the U.S. Canada and U.S. Mexico border crossings and it includes travel for essential or non-essential reasons.

The new restrictions will not apply to U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, or U.S. nationals. 

COVID-19 testing is not required for entry via land or ferry port of entry.

The Department of Homeland Security first announced the new rules back in October when the White House announced that beginning November the U.S. government would move away from the country-by-country restrictions. This was previously applied during the COVID-19 pandemic and adopted travel policies that relied primarily on vaccination to advance the safe resumption of travel.

In March 2020, to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, the U.S. government issued restrictions on travel into the United States. DHS implemented temporary restrictions, limiting entry at the U.S. northern and southern land borders to persons engaged in essential travel, including lawful trade, emergency response, and public health purposes.

Current requirements to enter the United States:

  • All foreign travelers who intend to enter the United States will have to present proof of vaccination against COVID-19 as described by the CDC. 
  • You are required to show a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 when you travel to the United States by air.
  • Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required in indoor areas of public transportation, including airplanes.

What vaccines will be accepted?

The United States will accept vaccines approved and accepted by the World Health Organization.

These are the nine vaccines approved by the WHO. 

  • Moderna ARNm-1273
  • Pfizer-BioN-Tech BNT162b2
  • Jansen (Johnson & Johnson) Ad26.COV2.S
  • Oxford-AstraZeneca AZD1222
  • Covishield
  • Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV
  • Sinovac CoronaVac
  • Covaxin
  • Novavax/Covovax

What documents will be accepted as proof of vaccination?

The CDC specifies that the following proof of vaccination against COVID-19 will be accepted:

  • Verifiable records on paper or digital: Certificate with QR code or digital pass in a phone application 
  • Non-verifiable printed records: Printed vaccination record, vaccination card. 
  • Non-verifiable digital records: Digital photos of the vaccination card or vaccination certificate from a public agency or application without a QR code. 

The vouchers must include the full name and date of birth that matches the passport of the person entering the country.

Name of the official agency that issued the proof of vaccination.

Manufacturer of the vaccine and vaccination dates. 

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