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Covid-19 Travel Restrictions

Biden's new Covid-19 Proclamation liberalizes travel restrictions for many, but the rules are still very complicated, and they do not apply equally to all. 

During the Covid-19 Pandemic, the U.S. Government has limited the entry of foreign and U.S. nationals into the U.S. based on policies and standards. Travelers are cautioned not to rely on confusing and contradictory policy statements which only have short-term effects.  

The rules below have been superseded, in part or in total, by a Biden Presidential Proclamation effective November 8, 2021. The information is below may still be valuable for some travelers, and, if not, it is offered to provide a more historical perspective. 

General Rule: All persons arriving in the U.S. from countries which have a high rate of Covid-19 infection must not have a positive Covid-19 test within 72 hours of arrival in the U.S., however, the rule was amended effective November 8, 2021, to include some more liberal and some more restrictive measures. 


Tourist Visa Restrictions. Generally, tourists who are vaccinated and have a recent Covid-19 test no longer face restrictions to spend 14 days in quarantine in a 'neutral' country like Mexico or Costa Rica. 


Student Visas Students from high-infection countries are permitted to come to the U.S. without spending a 14-day quarantine in a designated country like Mexico or Costa Rica, and most other non-immigrants may also enter with the same privileges as of November 8, 2021..

National Interest Exceptions. Many exceptions existed for persons who will make contributions in the national interest exception waiver in areas defined as crucial to the US by CISA (the Critical Infrastructure Security Agency. However, there are few persons still barred from entry who will need a national interest exception waiver. 

Specific Country Restrictions. Up-to-date bulletins are available on the website of the American Consulates abroad.

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