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UPDATE (11/29/2021): Due to the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant of interest, labeled 'Omicron,' the Biden Administration has announced a COVID-19 entry suspension on travelers physically present in one or more of several countries in southern Africa. The entry suspension goes into effect on Monday, November 29, 2021. Please read this announcement for further information.

On October 25, 2021 President Joseph Biden issued a Presidential Proclamation introducing important changes that will impact nonimmigrant visa holders - including most international students, scholars, and employees - traveling to the US on international flights. Effective November 8, nonimmigrant visa holders will be expected to show proof of  COVID-19 vaccination as well as a negative COVID-19 test result taken within three days prior to boarding their flight to the US (or within one day for unvaccinated individuals). More specifically, the Proclamation:

  • suspends the entry of unvaccinated nonimmigrant visa holders except in limited circumstances
  • requires that the entry of unvaccinated noncitizen nonimmigrants is consistent with applicable health and safety determinations made by the Director of the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), including a requirement that, where appropriate, such individuals agree and arrange to become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 upon their arrival
  • revokes existing country-specific entry suspensions imposed previously by various Presidential Proclamations, including proclamations relating to China, Iran, the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, South Africa, and India

Due to the revocation of country-specific COVID-19 related entry suspensions, which barred the entry of persons who were physically present in certain countries in the 14 day period prior to attempted entry into the US, national interest exceptions (NIEs) will no longer needed for vaccinated travelers flying to the US.

Please note that the new guidelines will require air travelers to the US to show that they have been vaccinated through a World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Use Listing (EUL) approved vaccine. If you were vaccinated with a non-WHO approved vaccine, your vaccination may not be sufficient for purposes of entering the US.

More information is expected to be provided in the coming weeks about specific travel situations, as different US federal government agencies and departments take steps to implement the Presidential Proclamation. We encourage you to read the Presidential Proclamation directly.

In addition, the International Center will hold a Special Open Forum on Winter Travel on Friday, November 12 at 9am EST to address these and other travel-related developments for persons considering international travel during this winter season. Registration in advance is required.


Tufts International Center