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COVID Vaccination Requirement for International Air Travel Ends May 11; End to Border Travel Vaccine Requirement Forthcoming

After May 11, 2023, nonimmigrants traveling by air to the United States will no longer be required to show proof of Covid vaccination, according to a White House statement. The announcement does not impact land border travel, but confirms that in the coming days, DHS will announce an end to the Covid vaccination requirement for nonimmigrants crossing land borders from Mexico and Canada.

The issue

Nonimmigrant international air travelers will no longer be required to show proof of COVID vaccination after May 11, 2023, according to a White House statement. The air travel vaccination requirement had been in place since 2021 in response to the COVID public health emergency. The White House is terminating the international air travel COVID vaccine requirement “at the end of the day” on May 11, which coincides with the official end to the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Separately, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is expected to make an announcement in the coming days regarding termination of the Covid vaccination requirement for nonimmigrant land border travel from Canada and Mexico.

What this means

After May 11, nonimmigrants who have not been fully vaccinated for Covid according to CDC guidelines will be permitted to board flights to the United States. Until then, the vaccination rules remain in place. A DHS announcement on termination of the vaccination requirement for land border travel is expected soon.

This policy change does not affect the Covid vaccination requirement for foreign nationals seeking U.S. permanent residence (green card). Until further notice, adjustment of status and immigrant visa applicants must continue to show proof of vaccination, or eligibility for an exception, in order to pass their green card medical exams. It should be noted that, in general, green card medical exams require several vaccinations that are not required for international travel. Termination of any vaccination requirement for green card medical exams would require a separate announcement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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