CBP Extends Travel Restrictions for Nonessential Land and Ferry Travel Across US Borders with Canada and Mexico through OCtober 21, 2021

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By Gladys Gervacio and Deepika Singh

United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will extend border restrictions which block all nonessential land and ferry travel across the United States borders with Mexico and Canada through October 21, 2021. Air travel is not affected by the restriction. Essential travel is permitted, and includes things like travel for work, school, medical treatment, and more. These restrictions have been renewed multiple times since being enacted on August 21, 2020 to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The Canadian government currently allows non-essential land travel from the US into Canada for fully-vaccinated US citizens and green card holders.

What is Considered Essential Travel?

The CBP’s travel restrictions limit non-essential travel, which includes travel for tourism, sightseeing, cultural events, and gambling.

Essential travel may continue across the US-Canada and US-Mexico land and ferry borders, and may include:

  • United States citizens or green card holders returning to the US.
  • Members of the armed forces and their spouses and children returning to the US.
  • Cross-border trade for lawful purposes.
  • Work-related travel.
  • Medical treatment-related travel.
  • Education.
  • Public health and emergency response-related travel.
  • Exceptions available on a case-by-case basis per CBP’s discretion.

Business Travelers

Foreign nationals and green card holders are still allowed to cross the US-Mexico and US-Canada land borders for business purposes. However, these individuals may face additional scrutiny. Foreign nationals should prepare to answer additional questions about their US business activity at the border.


The land and ferry border restrictions for the US-Mexico and US-Canada borders may be extended again to help contain the coronavirus pandemic. Our team will closely monitor the situation and provide updates as soon as they are available. Contact your trusted Chugh, LLP attorney for case-specific questions.


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