Can I Travel to the United States? Important Things You Need to Know If You’re Planning to Fly to USA

The US is now open for international tourism and has taken a step towards easing its Covid-19 travel restrictions by scraping the pre-departure negative COVID-19 viral test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 for air passengers before they board their flight to the US. However, the ban on unvaccinated arrivals is still prevalent, and travellers are still required to be fully vaccinated for entry into the country.

Can I travel to the USA now?

Yes, you can. Moreover, as of 12 June 2022, the US will NO longer require air passengers travelling from a foreign country to the United States to show a negative COVID-19 viral test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board their flight.

Arrivals from any foreign country who wish to enter the United States must first obtain a visitor visa or nonimmigrant visa for a temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. Visitor visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons who want to enter the United States temporarily for business (visa category B-1), for tourism (visa category B-2), or for a combination of both purposes (B-1/B-2).

However, vaccination is still mandatory for entry into the US and arrivals who are nonimmigrants and seeking to enter the United States by air are required to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States from a foreign country.

Unvaccinated arrivals from this category will NOT be allowed to board a flight to the United States unless they meet the criteria for an exception under the Proclamation and CDC’s Amended Order. A booster dose is not needed to meet this requirement.

Exemption
The following categories of noncitizen nonimmigrants that meet the criteria for an exception under the Proclamation and CDC’s Amended Order, will be allowed to enter the US, even if they are unvaccinated:

Persons on diplomatic or official foreign government travel
Children under 18 years of age
Persons with documented medical contraindications to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine
Participants in certain COVID-19 vaccine trials
Persons issued a humanitarian or emergency exception
Persons with valid visas [excluding B-1 (business) or B-2 (tourism) visas] who are citizens of a foreign country with limited COVID-19 vaccine availability.
Members of the U.S. Armed Forces or their spouses or children (under 18 years of age)
Sea crew members travelling with a C-1 and D nonimmigrant visa
Persons whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, Secretary of Transportation, or Secretary of Homeland Security (or their designees)
In case arrivals travel by air to the United States under one of these exceptions, they will be required to attest that they are exempted from the requirement to present Proof of Being Fully Vaccinated against Covid-19 based on one of the exceptions mentioned above.

Based on the category of the exception, arrivals may further be required to undergo certain requirements. More on this below.

The USA entry requirements
Before arrival
As of 12 June 2022, the US will NO longer require air passengers travelling from a foreign country to the United States to show a negative COVID-19 viral test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board their flight.

On arrival
The on-arrival entry requirements depend on the vaccination status of the traveller:

Fully vaccinated arrivals

There is no mandatory requirement for arrivals who qualify as fully vaccinated in the United States. However, they are recommended to get tested for the Covid-19 infection with a Covid-19 viral test 3-5 days after arrival.

Unvaccinated arrivals

The unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated noncitizen nonimmigrants to the US that meet the criteria for an exemption from vaccination under the Proclamation and CDC’s Amended Order, and can travel to the US, irrespective of their vaccination status will have to go through the following testing requirements:

You will be tested with a COVID-19 viral test 3–5 days after arrival in the United States unless you have documentation of having recovered from Covid-19 in the past 90 days;
You will self-quarantine for a full 5 days, even if the test result of the post-arrival viral test is negative unless you have documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days, and
You will self-isolate if the result of the post-arrival test is positive or if you develop COVID-19 symptoms.
Depending on the category of the exception, if you intend to stay in the United States for longer than 60 days you may additionally be required to attest that

You agree to be vaccinated against COVID-19; and
You have arranged to become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 within 60 days of arriving in the United States, or as soon thereafter as is medically appropriate.
You can refer to the attestation for more information regarding what each exception category has to attest to.

Vaccination requirements
Vaccination is still mandatory for entry into the US and arrivals who are nonimmigrants and seeking to enter the United States by air are required to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States from a foreign country.

Unvaccinated arrivals from this category will NOT be allowed to board a flight to the United States unless they meet the criteria for an exception under the Proclamation and CDC’s Amended Order. A booster dose is not needed to meet this requirement.

A traveller is considered fully vaccinated, if:

2 weeks (14 days) have passed after your dose of an accepted single-dose vaccine
2 weeks (14 days) have passed after your second dose of an accepted 2-dose series
2 weeks (14 days) have passed after you received the full series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine (not placebo) in a clinical trial
2 weeks (14 days) have passed after you received 2 doses of any “mix-and-match” combination of accepted COVID-19 vaccines administered at least 17 days apart.
A person who has received only one dose of an accepted 2-dose series and has recovered from COVID-19 does not meet this definition and therefore is NOT considered fully vaccinated for travel to the United States.

Please note that a booster dose is not needed to meet this requirement.

Do I need to quarantine if I travel to the USA?

As per CDC’s latest update, fully vaccinated travellers to the US are not mandatorily required to undergo quarantine. However, they are recommended to stay home and self-quarantine for a full 5 days after travel.

Passengers who have not been vaccinated and belong to the noncitizen nonimmigrants to the US that meet the criteria for an exemption from vaccination under the Proclamation and CDC’s Amended Order, and can travel to the US, irrespective of their vaccination status will have to:

Stay at home or in their hotel room and self-quarantine for a full 7 days, even if they test negative unless they have documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days.
Isolate if their test result is positive or they develop COVID-19 symptoms.

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