The White House has announced that widespread country-specific travel bans will be rescinded effective November 8, 2021 for fully vaccinated travelers. Formal guidance has not yet been issued, but it is expected to apply equally to air travel and land borders. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), COVID-19 vaccines accepted for international travel purposes will include FDA-approved or authorized (more information here) and WHO Emergency Use Listing vaccines (listed at “status” tab here). As of this writing, the CDC has defined “fully vaccinated” as either (a) 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or (b) 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine. The CDC has not yet clarified whether travelers who have received two doses of different vaccines will be eligible for travel to the U.S. When planning travel to the United States, travelers are advised to closely review the most current travel, testing, and vaccination requirements as stated on the CDC website, which is expected to be updated as new guidance is issued.
While SGG Immigration welcomes this change in policy, we also caution that U.S. consular operations worldwide continue to be severely limited and in many cases visas remain unavailable in all but exceptional circumstances. Visa availability varies both by consulate and by visa classification; consular-specific information can be found here. We do not anticipate the rescission of the blanket travel bans heralds the return of routine consular operations. Please contact your SGG Immigration attorney if you require guidance regarding your specific situation.