COVID-19 testing and vaccinations

Nonimmigrant Travelers Can Now Board Flights to U.S. Without Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination

With summer travel kicking off, many foreign national workers based in the U.S. are feeling a sense of relief since proof of COVID-19 vaccines is no longer required to board flights entering the U.S.

By way of background, the Biden-Harris administration dropped the requirement for COVID-19 testing in June 2022, but kept in place the vaccination policy for non-U.S. citizen and non-permanent resident travelers. The U.S. suspended the COVID-19 vaccine requirement in connection with the end of the Federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) declaration, which went into effect May 11.

As of May 12, noncitizen nonimmigrant air passengers no longer need to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to board a flight to the U.S.

Permanent Residency Applicants

However, on the immigrant side, COVID-19 vaccinations remain in play. Applicants for an immigrant visa for permanent residency in the U.S. (a “green card”) must receive one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, provided a dose is due at the time of the exam according to current CDC guidance. Akin to other vaccination requirements, additional doses are no longer required. Further, applicants for permanent residency do not have to postpone completion of the exam to complete the initial series of the COVID-19 vaccine.

This article was co-authored by Tieranny Cutler, independent contract attorney.

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