New Requirements for International Passengers Entering to the United States


Story update as of January 20, 2021

Land, Ferry Crossing into U.S.

Starting Jan. 22, 2022, Canadians entering the United States at land borders and ferry terminals will need to show proof of a full COVID-19 vaccination, according to an update posted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Thursday (Jan. 20).

The new restrictions (which will unfold at the U.S.-Mexico border as well) will apply to non-U.S. individuals who are travelling for both essential and non-essential reasons, DHS stated. They will not apply to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, or U.S. nationals.

What to expect

According to DHS, non-U.S. individuals travelling to the U.S. 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.

It should be noted that COVID-19 testing is not required for U.S. entry at land or ferry crossings. (However, a negative molecular test is still required for re-entry into Canada).

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

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


Effective December 6, 2021, all travelers arriving into the U.S., including U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens, must have proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 1 day of initial flight departure, or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days. Non-U.S. citizens must be fully vaccinated and have proof of their vaccination. All customers must also sign an attestation and provide contact tracing information.

Passengers entering the United States must meet the following requirements:

  1. Proof of complete COVID-19 vaccination

  • Non-resident foreigners must present proof of complete COVID-19 vaccination in digital or paper format before boarding unless they are exempt.
  • Exempt passengers include:

­               – Diplomatic, government, and UN travel.

­               – Children under 18 years old.

­               – Persons in clinical trials.

­               – Persons with medical contraindications.

­               – Humanitarian and emergency exemptions, granted by the CDC.

­               – Limited availability of vaccines from countries with less than 10% of the total

vaccinated population.

­               – U.S. Armed Forces.

­               – Maritime crew members.

­               – Persons with national interest exemption.

Accepted vaccines: Janssen/J&J, Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Covishield, Sinovac and BIBP/Sinopharm (WIBP/Sinopharm is not accepted).

  1. Negative COVID-19 test or documentation of COVID-19 recovery.

  • All passengers must submit a negative COVID-19 molecular (RT-PCR, RT-LAMP, TMA, NEAR, or HDA) or antigen test, in digital or paper format performed within 1 day before travel.
  • Or the passenger may present documentation of COVID-19 recovery:

– A positive test no more than 90 days before the flight and,

– A letter from a licensed health care professional stating that the passenger

has been cleared for travel.

  1. Passenger Declaration

All passengers must complete the digital health Affidavit provided by their airline and show it to the airline’s staff at the check-in.


One day does not mean 24 hours

In regards to America’s new testing rule, it should be noted that “no more than one day before” does not necessarily mean 24 hours.

“The one-day period is one day before the flight’s departure,” clarifies the CDC on its website, saying that it uses a one-day time frame instead of 24 hours “to provide more flexibility to the air passenger and aircraft operator.’

“By using a 1-day window, test acceptability does not depend on the time of the flight or the time of day that the test sample was taken,” the CDC writes.

For example: if your flight is at 1 p.m. on a Friday, you could board with a negative test that was taken any time on the prior Thursday.


View our interactive travel restrictions map to see complete entry requirements for a specific destination.