February 6, 2023

Volume XIII, Number 37


February 06, 2023

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February 03, 2023

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CDC Updates COVID-19 Guidance for Air Travelers to United States

On April 14, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updated its post-arrival recommendations.

Almost everyone (unless specifically exempted) who is at least 2 years old must have a negative COVID-19 test (tests include an antigen test or a nucleic acid amplification test) to board an airplane for the United States. Travelers fall into two broad categories: 1) U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, U.S. lawful permanent residents, and immigrants, and 2) non-U.S. citizen and non-U.S. immigrant entering on temporary visas.

After Arrival in United States

After arrival, CDC recommends all travelers, including U.S. citizens, legal permanent residents, nonimmigrant foreign nationals, and any individuals who are fully vaccinated but are not up to date on vaccinations (i.e., not boosted) should:

  • Get a COVID-19 viral test 3-5 days after travel.

  • Self-monitor and quarantine, then isolate if the COVID-19 test is positive or if symptoms develop.

  • If the traveler recovered from a documented COVID-19 infection within the past 90 days (regardless of vaccination status), then COVID-19 viral testing or self-quarantine is not required unless symptoms develop.

Vaccination Requirement

Those in group 1 (U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, U.S. lawful permanent residents, and immigrants) need not show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before traveling to the United States by air, but those in group 2 (non-U.S. citizen and non-U.S. immigrant entering on temporary visas) do. However, the following members in group 2 can be excepted from the fully vaccinated requirement:

  • Diplomats

  • Children under 18 years of age

  • Individuals with documented medical contraindications for vaccination

  • Participants in certain COVID-19 vaccine trials

  • Documented humanitarian or emergency exceptions

  • Individuals with valid nonimmigrant visas (other than B visas) who are citizens of countries with limited COVID-19 vaccine availability

  • Member of the U.S. Armed Forces and their spouses and children under 18

  • Crew members with C or D visas

  • Individuals whose entry into the United States is in the national interest

Non-citizens who have been excepted from the fully vaccinated requirement may have to attest to some or all the following upon arrival:

  • Take a viral test 3-5 days after arrival, unless within 90 days of recovering from COVID-19.

  • Stay home or in a hotel room and self-quarantine for 5 days even if the viral test is negative, unless within 90 days of recovering from COVID-19.

  • Isolate if the viral test is positive or if symptoms develop during the 5 days.

  • If planning to remain in the United State for at least 60 days, the individual must become fully vaccinated within 60 days of arrival unless vaccination is not medically appropriate.

To receive an exception, an individual must provide an attestation to show their eligibility for such an exception.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2023National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 123

About this Author

Porter S. Young Immigration Employment Attorney Jackson Lewis Washington DC

Porter S. Young is an associate in the Washington, D.C. Region office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Porter represents employers in immigration matters and is known by colleagues and peers for his positive attitude and outstanding work ethic. 

Whether assisting employers in obtaining employment-based visas for foreign employees or immigrant visa petitions, Porter works diligently to meet his clients’ needs.

An immigrant himself, Porter served as a student attorney in the Immigration Clinical Program while in law school, helping others navigate the complexities of...