Vaccinated Travelers from Canada & Mexico May Enter U.S. at Land Borders & Ferry Crossings

On October 12, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced that the Department of Homeland Security will amend Title 19 regulations to allow non-essential travelers who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and have appropriate documentation to enter the United States via land and ferry ports of entry across the U.S. border. The Secretary stated, “In alignment with the new international air travel system that will be implemented in November, we will begin allowing travelers from Mexico and Canada who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 to enter the United States for non-essential purposes, including to visit friends and family or for tourism, via land and ferry border crossings.”


The modifications to the regulations will occur in two phases over the next few months. First, in November, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will begin allowing fully vaccinated travelers from Mexico or Canada to enter the United States at land and ferry ports of entry for non-essential reasons. Travelers will be required to have appropriate paperwork that provides proof of vaccination. Individuals who have not been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 will not be allowed to travel for non-essential purposes from Canada and Mexico into the United States via land and ferry ports.


Second, beginning in early January 2022, DHS will require that all inbound foreign national travelers crossing U.S. land or ferry ports – whether for essential or non-essential reasons – be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide related proof of vaccination. This approach will provide ample time for essential travelers such as truckers, students, and healthcare workers to get vaccinated. This new travel system will create consistent, stringent protocols for all foreign nationals traveling to the United States – whether by air, land, or ferry.


Note that on September 30, the White House announced that it plans to ease travel restrictions on all international travelers coming into the United States beginning in early November 2021.


*Steven M. Ladik is past President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and represents numerous professional golfers on the LPGA Tour and PGA TOUR. He also serves as the outside Immigration Counsel to the National Football League. He is a Partner at Seltzer Chadwick Soefje & Ladik, PLLC. www.realclearcounsel.com

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