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Thanksgiving U.S. Travel Tips

As Thanksgiving approaches, it’s important to keep a few tips in mind that might make traveling over the long weekend easier! Just a reminder that the U.S. is still requiring non-U.S. citizens who are traveling to the U.S. to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

According to the CDC, you are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks (14 days) after your dose of an accepted single-dose vaccine;
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after your second dose of an accepted 2-dose series;
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after you received the full series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine (not placebo) in a clinical trial; or
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after you received 2 doses of any “mix-and-match” combination of accepted COVID-19 vaccines administered at least 17 days apart.

U.S. Citizens 

If you are a U.S. Citizen and are traveling to, from, or within the U.S., the COVID-19 vaccine requirements do not apply to you. However, the CDC does suggest:

  • Getting up to date with your vaccines before you travel. 
  • Considering getting tested before travel.
  • Following CDC’s recommendations for wearing masks in travel and public transportation settings.
  • Getting tested after travel if your travel involved situations with greater risk of exposure, such as being in crowded places while not wearing a high-quality mask or respirator.
  • Checking your destination’s COVID-19 Community Level before traveling. State, tribal, local, and territorial governments may have travel restrictions in place.

Green Card Holders

If you are traveling as a permanent resident, temporary or brief travel does not typically affect your status. You can leave the U.S with your green card and passport, so long as you do not intend to remain outside of the U.S. for longer than six months. 

No matter where you are traveling, it’s always a good idea to keep your green card on you. You must also always have your valid, un-expired passport when traveling outside of the U.S. Without it, you will not be able to leave or re-enter the country.

Additionally, the vaccine requirements do not apply to U.S. lawful permanent residents (i.e. Green Card holders).

Nonimmigrant Visa Holder & Visitors

If you are a nonimmigrant visa holder and have multiple visa stamps, be sure to use the correct one to enter the country. When you re-enter, you are in the category in which you were admitted and which appears on your electronic I-94 document.

If you are a citizen of a country that is part of the Visa Waiver Program, you are allowed to enter the U.S as a temporary visitor without first obtaining a visa stamp in your passport. You will only be allowed to remain in the U.S for 90 days maximum and will not be eligible for benefits or employment.

If you are a non-U.S. citizen who is a nonimmigrant (not a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, lawful permanent resident, or traveling to the United States on an immigrant visa), you will need to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before you travel by air to the United States from a foreign country.

Some categories of noncitizen nonimmigrants are excempted from this requirement. If you meet the criteria for one of these categories, you will need to fulfill additional requirements to travel by air to the United States. For more information about whether you meet the criteria, visit the CDC’s website regarding vaccination requirements for air passengers. 

We hope you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving! Be sure to contact Berardi Immigration Law for all of your U.S. immigration related questions!