June 22, 2021

Volume XI, Number 173


June 21, 2021

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United States-Canada COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

The United States-Canada border is not only the world’s longest international border, but it includes some of the busiest commercial crossings in North America. New travel restrictions have been implemented as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Non-Essential Travel Ban

The land border has been closed to “non-essential” travel since March 2020 due to COVID-19. Restrictions include:

  • Individuals are not admitted for tourism, sightseeing, recreation, gambling, attending cultural events, or other non-essential purposes. They are admitted for “essential” purposes, which include travel for work, medical reasons, to attend educational institutions, and diplomatic or military related travel.

  • Citizens or permanent residents of the country they are entering are excepted from the ban.

  • Testing Requirements

    • Anyone entering Canada at a land port of entry must show a negative COVID-19 test that was taken within 72 hours of seeking entry.

    • No parallel testing requirement for entering U.S. land ports of entry.

The “non-essential” travel ban does not apply to individuals entering the United States or Canada by air. However, testing requirements apply:

Quarantine Requirements

While the U.S. government has the authority to enforce quarantines upon entry, the current CDC guidelines have no specific penalties for failure to comply. Canada regulations, on the other hand, include penalties.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2021National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 48



About this Author

Alexandra LaCombe Immigration Attorney Jackson Lewis

Alexandra LaCombe is a Principal in the Detroit, Michigan, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. Her practice includes all aspects of corporate U.S. immigration law, with particular focus on regulatory compliance and corporate immigration policy.

Ms. LaCombe's experience includes both individual and corporate client matters in various industries including automotive, aerospace, and finance, as well as internationally recognized universities and research institutions.  She handles all aspects of corporate U.S. immigration, including nonimmigrant visas and permanent...