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DHS to Allow Nonessential Land and Ferry Travel Across Canadian and Mexican Borders with Proof of COVID-19 Vaccine

By: Angelita Chavez | October 21, 2021

By: Jacqueline Valle and Toni Ordona

Beginning in November 2021, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will allow fully vaccinated foreign nationals to enter the United States across its land and ferry borders with Canada and Mexico for non-essential travel. Foreign nationals that are not fully vaccinated will not be permitted to travel across US land and ferry borders for non-essential purposes through January 21, 2022.

This policy does not impact air travel. The United States will reopen to foreign national air travelers from any country that have proof of full vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test on November 8, 2021.

New Vaccination policy

The new policy will allow tourism, personal visits, and other non-essential land and ferry travel for fully vaccinated foreign nationals crossing US borders with Canada and Mexico. DHS has not released any specific dates or details for the policy’s effective date beyond the November 2021 estimate.

Those traveling for essential purposes will not need to show proof of vaccination when they cross the US land and ferry borders with Canada and Mexico until January 21, 2022. After that date, all foreign nationals traveling for any purpose, including individuals traveling on an H visa, L visa, O Visa, B Visa, or under the Visa Waiver Program, must present proof of vaccination. Essential travel may be for business, school, or medical purposes. 

US Customs and Border Protection officers will accept proof of all vaccines approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and emergency use vaccines identified by the World Health Organization (WHO).




For questions regarding vaccine requirements, documentation required for future travel plans, or case-specific questions, please contact the Chugh, LLP immigration professional with whom you work.

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