The last-standing COVID-19-related travel restrictions will soon expire. Bringing the United States in line with most countries around the world, after May 11, 2023, non-citizen, nonimmigrant air passengers need not show proof of being fully vaccinated to board a flight to the United States.
Until May 12, nonimmigrants must still document having a bivalent or monovalent dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine taken at least 14 days before their arrival in the United States.
In addition, beginning May 12, non-U.S. travelers will be able to enter the United States by land or ferry without providing evidence of up-to-date vaccinations.
In addition to ending the travel restrictions, the Biden Administration also announced that the COVID-19 vaccination requirements for federal employees and federal contractors will end May 11, and the Administration will start the process to end the vaccination requirement for head start educators and CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services)-certified facilities.
The COVID-19 public health emergency has been in effect since January 2020. Anticipating the end of the emergency declaration, USCIS already ended the 60-day grace period granted to respond to requests from the agency. On May 4, 2023, DHS and ICE announced that the flexibility to conduct remote verification of documents for Form I-9 purposes will end as of July 31, 2023. Beyond that, USCIS still has discretion to grant measures, including extensions, on a case-by-case basis upon request for those who have been affected by unforeseen circumstances, including a public health emergency. Unforeseen circumstances related to COVID-19 may still fall into this category.
Jackson Lewis attorneys are available to answer any questions regarding travel or COVID-19-related flexibilities, particularly those connected with preparing for the end of flexibility regarding Form I-9 employment verifications.