DHS Requirement: Non-U.S. Individual Travelers Entering U.S. Must Be Fully Vaccinated

Jim Rogers General, Labor

WASHINGTON – Beginning today January 22, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will require non-U.S. individuals seeking to enter the United States, either by land ports of entry or ferry terminals at the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders, to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.

DHS Requirement

They will also have to provide related proof of vaccination. These new restrictions will apply to non-U.S. individuals who are traveling for both essential and non-essential reasons. They will not apply to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents or U.S. nationals.

“Starting on January 22, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security will require that non-U.S. individuals entering the United States via land ports of entry or ferry terminals along our Northern and Southern borders be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and be prepared to show related proof of vaccination,” said Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “These updated travel requirements reflect the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to protecting public health while safely facilitating the cross-border trade and travel that is critical to our economy.”

These changes – which were first announced in October 2021, will align public health measures that govern land travel with those that govern incoming international air travel.

Non-U.S. individuals traveling to the United States via land ports of entry or ferry terminals, whether for essential or non-essential reasons, must:

  • verbally attest to their COVID-19 vaccination status;
  • provide proof of a CDC-approved COVID-19 vaccination, as outlined on the CDC website;
  • present a valid Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)-compliant document, such as a valid passport, Trusted Traveler Program card, or Enhanced Tribal Card; and,
  • be prepared to present any other relevant documents requested by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer during a border inspection.

Although these new vaccination requirements do not apply to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents or U.S. nationals, all travelers are reminded to bring a WHTI-compliant document when re-entering the United States. Non-U.S. individuals attempting to enter the United States irregularly, through any illegal means or without proper documentation, will continue to be expelled pursuant to CDC’s Title 42 public health order.

To help reduce wait times, travelers can take advantage of facial biometrics and CBP One™, which is a single portal for CBP mobile applications and services.

To learn more about the updated requirements for travelers, review the DHS fact sheet.

Source: Department of Homeland Security