President Biden has issued a presidential proclamation (P.P.) resuming the global travel into the U.S. effective from November 8, 2021, at 12:01 am (ET). The proclamation moves away from country-by-country travel restrictions and adopts an air travel policy that relies primarily on vaccination (accepted COVID-19 vaccines), with limited exceptions.
The memo states: This proclamation governs the entry into the United States of noncitizen nonimmigrants — that is, noncitizens who are visiting the United States or otherwise being admitted temporarily — traveling to the United States by air. It cancels the Covid-19 related travel restrictions against the persons who are fully vaccinated, however, it suspends the entry of unvaccinated noncitizen nonimmigrants, except in limited circumstances, and it ensures that the entry of unvaccinated noncitizen nonimmigrants is consistent with applicable health and safety determinations made by the Director of the CDC, including a requirement that, where appropriate, such individuals agree and arrange to become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 upon their arrival. Previously there were travel restrictions against people who were physically present in India, Brazil, Schengen area countries of the Europe, China, Iran, Ireland, South Africa or United Kingdom 14 days before their entry or attempted entry into the U.S.
In place of these restrictions, the President announced a global vaccination requirement for all adult foreign national travelers. More information about this global vaccination requirement, including details on exceptions and waivers due to humanitarian concerns, is available at Non-U.S. citizen, Non-U.S. immigrants: Air Travel to the United States | CDC.
CDC Guideline for Non-U.S. citizen, Non-U.S. immigrants Air Travel to the United States
- You must be fully vaccinated to travel to the United States by plane if you are a non-U.S. citizen, non-U.S. immigrant (not a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, lawful permanent resident, or traveling to the United States on an immigrant visa). Only limited exceptions apply.
- 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. The timing of this test depends on your vaccination status and age.
- Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required in indoor areas of public transportation (including airplanes) traveling into, within, or out of the United States and indoors in U.S. transportation hubs (including airports).
Are You Fully Vaccinated for Air Travel to the United States?
You are considered fully vaccinated:
- 2 weeks (14 days) after an accepted single-dose COVID-19 vaccine
- 2 weeks (14 days) after your second dose of an accepted 2-dose series
- 2 weeks (14 days) after you received the full series of an active (not placebo) COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S.-based AstraZeneca or Novavax COVID-19 vaccine trials
- 2 weeks (14 days) after you received 2 doses of any “mix-and-match” combination of accepted COVID-19 vaccines administered at least 17 days apart*
If you don’t meet these requirements, you are NOT fully vaccinated.
*CDC has not recommended the use of mix-and-match COVID-19 vaccine primary series. However, such strategies are increasingly common in many countries outside of the United States. Therefore, for the purpose of interpreting vaccination records for travel to the United States, CDC will accept combinations of accepted COVID-19 vaccines.
Before You Travel to the United States
- Proof of Vaccination (Required)
All non-U.S. citizen, non-U.S. immigrants traveling to the United States by air are required to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Only limited exceptions apply. Learn more about this requirement.vial light icon
2. Testing (Required)
Before boarding a flight to the United States, you are required to show one of the following:
- If you are fully vaccinated: Proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than 3 days before travel.
- If you are NOT fully vaccinated: A negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than 1 day before travel.
Children under 2 years old do not need to test. There are also accommodations for people who have documented recovery from COVID-19 in the past 90 days. Learn more about these requirements.
3. Contact information to be provided to airline before boarding (REQUIRED)
- All air passengers to the United States will also be required to provide contact information to airlines before boarding flights to the United States. This strengthens a travel process already in place to rapidly identify and contact people in the U.S. who may have been exposed to a communicable disease, such as COVID-19. Access to travelers’ contact information will allow U.S. federal, state, and local health departments, and agencies to share appropriate health and public health information necessary to help keep the public safe.
Visa process at the U.S. Consulates
Pursuant to President Biden’s proclamation, as of November 8, the U.S. Department should process the visa applications for individuals physically present in these affected countries.
The rescission of these P.P.’s does not necessarily mean that your local U.S. embassy or consulate is able to immediately schedule all affected applicants for visa interviews. Please see the embassy/consulate websites for information on what services they are offering at this time and instructions on how to apply for a nonimmigrant visa.
Following are the steps for non-immigrant visa process:
STEP 1: DS-160 Application
We have created an account for you on https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/ or the proprietary portal of Adhikari Law and complete the DS-160 and submit the completed application in the portal. Please make sure you save each and every pages of DS-160 application for your record.
STEP 2: Pay your visa fees
To pay your visa fee. You may have to create a profile and mention the receipt number (in case of an approved petition-based case) to book your visa appointment.
STEP 3: Schedule your VAC or OFC appointment for Interview Waiver.
Now you will need to login to your profile with the same credentials you used to pay your visa fee. Once you are in the system, you will see your dashboard. Click on the Schedule Appointment button. This will start the process for scheduling your Visa Application Center (VAC) appointment. This will start the process for scheduling your Visa Application Center (VAC) appointment.
If you qualify for the visa Interview Waiver then you should be able to schedule a drop-off appointment at an Offsite Facilitation Center (OFC). For this “Select interview location“, if you see IW, which means Interview Waiver at the end of the Consulate name like “Mumbai IW”, this will be your Dropbox Appointment to choose.
You will need three pieces of information in order to schedule your appointment:
- Your passport number
- The visa application fee receipt number.
- The ten (10) digit barcode number from your DS-160 confirmation page
As you go through the process you will be able to select your visa type, enter personal data, add dependents, select your document delivery location, confirm visa payment, and schedule your appointment.
STEP 4: Attend your ASC Appointments or OFC drop-off appointment
For your Visa Application Center appointment, you must present:
- A passport valid for travel to the United States with validity dates at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the United States (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions). If more than one person is included in your passport, each person desiring a visa must submit an application.
- Your DS-160 confirmation page.
- Your appointment confirmation page.
- One 2 x 2 inch (51 x 51 mm) photograph taken within the last six months. This web page has information about the required photo format.
- Copy of H-1B approval notice.
- Employer’s visa request letter confirming the job title and the salary.
STEP 5: Track your passport
If your visa application is approved, your passport and visa can be collected from the pickup location you selected when you scheduled for interview appointment. When your passport is available at selected location you will receive an email and an SMS that your passport is “Ready for Pick Up”. Domestic delivery services to applicant’s address are available as a premium service.
Note: This is a blog post by Adhikari Law PLLC and should not be construed as a legal advice.
Please contact us at (+1) 202 600 7742, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you will have any question on this topic. You can also reach us to learn about our legal services.