Revised COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Announced

On September 20, 2021, the White House announced that it will rescind the current geographic COVID-19 related travel bans implemented for individuals from China, Iran, the Schengen Area (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City), U.K., Ireland, Brazil, South Africa, and India.

New vaccination-based requirements for international visitors to the U.S. will be implemented in early November 2021.

Once the new rules are implemented, all international travelers will be required to prove that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, as well as provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within three days of boarding a flight to the United States. The CDC will provide information regarding which vaccines will be accepted.

Limited exceptions such as for children; COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial participants; and humanitarian exceptions for people traveling for an important reason and who lack access to vaccination in a timely manner will be available. Individuals who are exempted from the vaccine requirement may be required to be vaccinated upon arrival.

Additional COVID-19 restrictions will be implemented, including 1) continuing the mask mandate through January 18, 2022; 2) expanding pre-departure and post-arrival testing requirements; and 3) implanting a contact tracing order for airlines

There has been no related announcement about non-immigrant visa application procedures or appointment availability.  Individuals who need a visa to travel to the U.S.  should expect continuing appointment and processing delays due to COVID-related staffing issues and the ongoing enormous immigrant visa backlog.