Immigration Law Alert – 10/28/21

Travel Ban Lifted for Fully Vaccinated Foreign Nationals with a Negative COVID-19 Test


Dear Tocci & Lee’s friends, colleagues, and clients:

On October 25, 2021, a Presidential Proclamation was issued to lift the U.S. travel bans, which will be effective November 8, 2021, for certain fully vaccinated foreign nationals traveling to the U.S. from China, Brazil, Iran, Ireland, UK, South Africa, India, and the Schengen region. Specifically, this new policy permits U.S. air travel for all fully vaccinated foreign national travelers who present acceptable digital or paper evidence demonstrating that they received vaccines authorized or approved by either the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or the World Health Organization (WHO) and who also present a negative COVID-19 test taken within 3 days of U.S. travel.


Pursuant to this policy, travelers will be subject to the following:

  • All foreign national travelers will be subject to vaccination requirements with some exemptions including, but not limited to, children under age 18, those with medial contraindications for the vaccine, those whose entries are in the U.S. national interest, and those from countries with less than a 10% vaccination rate – with these exempt travelers subject to more stringent requirements of 1 day pre-arrival COVID-19 testing or proof of recent COVID-19 recovery. Further, exempted foreign national travelers may also be required to be fully vaccinated within 60 days of their U.S. arrival and be subject to additional COVID-19 testing and/or quarantine requirements.
  • 3-day COVID-19 testing requirements for all fully vaccinated air travelers, including U.S. citizens and permanent residents ages 2 and up.
  • All qualifying unvaccinated travelers, including U.S. citizens and permanent residents, are subject to more stringent COVID-19 testing requirements.
  • Separate travel and vaccine rules will apply to foreign nationals traveling to the U.S. via land from Canada and Mexico and more guidance is expected soon.


Although the travel ban will be lifted, we advise foreign nationals to strongly consider the following impediments prior to any travel outside the U.S.:

  • Many U.S. Embassies and Consulates are either closed or open only for emergency processing due to COVID-19 and significant delays should be expected for those seeking to apply for a visa stamp.
  • The lifting of the travel ban may create a swell in non-immigrant visa appointment applications which may only increase the U.S. Embassy and Consulate visa stamping backlogs.
  • Processing visa stamps as a Third Country National (TCN) in a country where one does not have residency nor citizenship, may be very limited as most U.S. Embassies and Consulates are restricting processing for TCN’s due to their reduced operations.
  • Due to the unpredictability of U.S. Embassy and Consulate operations, scheduled visa stamp appointments may be cancelled without notice.
  • U.S. Embassies and Consulates will not enforce any U.S. admission vaccination requirements and may issue visa stamps for unvaccinated foreign nationals.


Given the above travel considerations, we continue to advise foreign national clients to cautiously consider travel as they may encounter delays in their return to the U.S.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released the following updated travel information:

The Presidential Proclamation can be found here:

Last, we are monitoring the implementation of this new policy and will provide updates as they become available.

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