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Update: entry into the United States

Date:

11/15/2021


Update: entry into the United States

U.S. ENTRY PROVISIONS

As of November 8, 2021, restrictions on arrivals to the United States for vaccinated travelers from the Schengen area, United Kingdom, Ireland, China, India and Brazil will be lifted. The Proclamation issued by President Biden on October 25 by President Biden ("Advancing the Safe Resumption of Global Travel During the Covid-19 Pandemic") sets out in detail access procedures for vaccinated people, and lists some limited exceptions to the vaccination requirement.

1. FULLY VACCINATED TRAVELERS, AND ACCEPTED VACCINES

a) Travelers who are fully vaccinated shall be allowed entry into the United States. ''Fully vaccinated" applies to people vaccinated with FDA-approved vaccines (Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson) as well as those vaccinated with vaccines listed on the World Health Organization's Emergency Use Listing (EUL), which includes AstraZeneca.
b) "Fully vaccinated" also applies to people who have received a mixed-dose vaccine provided that it was carried out with vaccines approved by the FDA or included in the EUL: "any combination of two doses of an FDA approved/authorized or WHO emergency use listed COVID-19 two-dose series".
c) A person is considered "fully vaccinated" if he/she has received, at least 14 days prior to arrival in the U.S., the second dose of vaccination, or the single dose in the case of one-dose vaccines (Johnson and Johnson).

P.S. For those who have recently contracted Covid-19 and who are holders of an Italian "green pass" issued after a single dose of vaccine, the possibility of traveling to the United States is subject to the presentation of a positive result at Covid-19 viral test carried out no more than 90 days before the departure of the flight together with a letter from an authorized healthcare professional or public health officer certifying that the person concerned is fit to travel (see the CDC website https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Ftravelers)

2. PROOF OF VACCINATION
a) A Vaccination Certificate (digital format accepted) must be presented to the airline at the time of boarding.
b) Airlines must verify both the correspondence between the traveler's data and that reported in the certificate of vaccination, and that the certificate was issued by qualified bodies or organizations.

3. COVID TESTING AND IMPROVED TESTING PROCEDURES
a) Upon boarding, vaccinated travelers are still required to show a negative Covid test result (molecular or antigenic test), carried out within 3 days before departure to the United States. Furthermore, it is recommended that a further test (molecular or antigenic) be carried out between the third and fifth day after arrival in the country.
b) The requirement of a negative test within three days of travel also applies to fully vaccinated U.S. citizens.

4. REQUIREMENTS FOR MINORS
a) Minors under the age of 18 are excluded from the vaccination requirement.
b) Minors between 2 and 17 years of age must show proof of a negative Covi-19 test before departing for the United States.
Specifically:
a) If an unvaccinated minor is traveling with a fully vaccinated adult, he or she must take the test three days before departure.
b) If the unvaccinated minor is traveling alone or with an unvaccinated adult, the test must be taken one day before departure.

5. EXCEPTIONS TO THE VACCINATION REQUIREMENT
There are limited exceptions to the vaccination requirement for those arriving from abroad. They include:
a) those under the age of 18.
b) travelers who are participating in COVID-19 clinical trials.
c) Travelers who for medical reasons or contraindications cannot be vaccinated.
d) Those who need to travel for emergency or humanitarian reasons (with proof in the form of a letter from the U.S. government stating the urgent need to travel).
e) Those traveling on non-tourist visas from countries with vaccination rates below 10% (CDC will publish a list of such countries).

Foreign travelers who fall under the above exceptions will still be required to present a negative Covid test performed one day before departure, and to perform a second test between the third and fifth day after entry into the country. It is recommended to observe a week of self-isolation. If a test is not taken between the third and fifth day of arrival in the U.S., it is recommended a self-isolation of 10 days.
Beneficiaries of the above exceptions who intend to stay in the country for more than 60 days will be required to undergo vaccination in the United States. This is without prejudice to those who cannot be vaccinated due to medical contraindications.

Pursuant to the Proclamation, the limitations do not apply to holders of the following visa categories:
a) A1, A2, A3 (diplomats and government officials)
b) G1, G2, G3, G4 (diplomats, officials of International Organizations)
c) NATO 1-2-3-4-6 (military or civilian personnel traveling to the U.S. in accordance with NATO agreements)
d) C1, C2, C3 (visas for travelers in transit)
d) ship and aircraft crew members
e) those traveling to the United Nations Headquarters in New York (in this case, a letter of invitation from the United Nations is required which states the reasons for the trip)

6. CONTACT TRACING
CDC is working on a contact tracing order. The order will require all airlines flying into the United States to have passenger contact information available, and to be prepared to turn this over to the CDC so that these authorities can track incoming travelers who may be potentially infected, or who may have had contact with infected persons.

7. With the new provisions, the procedure requiring a National Interest Exception (NIE) as a prerequisite to obtain a visa or to travel with ESTA is therefore suspended as of November 8.

In compliance with the new provisions and the requirements in terms of vaccination and Covid testing, travel to the United States is again permitted in conformity with pre-Covid procedures, i.e. with an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), a valid visa, or by applying for a visa at the U.S. Consulates.

For more details on health requirements, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/international-travel-during-covid19.html and related FAQ https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/proof-of-vaccination.html#vaccine-proof

PLEASE NOTE: UNTIL NOVEMBER 8 THE CURRENT PROVISIONS THAT LIMIT ACCESS TO THE COUNTRY FROM THE SCHENGEN AREA CONTINUE TO APPLY AND WHICH, WITH LIMITED EXCEPTIONS, REQUIRE THE ISSUANCE OF NIE AS A PREREQUISITE FOR ENTRY INTO THE USA (see below).

PROVISIONS ON NATIONAL INTEREST EXCEPTIONS FOR ENTRY INTO THE USA (VALID UNTIL NOVEMBER 8):

The U.S. Department of State has announced that, effective July 6, 2021, all National Interest Exception (NIE) authorizations will be valid for 12 months for multiple entries retroactively and valid for NIEs issued (with visa or ESTA) within the last 12 months.

The 12 months shall start from the NIE date of issuance.

Individuals who have received more than one NIE authorization must calculate 12 months from the date of issuance of the last NIE.

This update does not affect the categories of visas that may qualify for NIE, which are unchanged.

Two examples are provided below. Please refer to the U.S. Department of State's notice for more details: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/extension-validity-for-nies-for-china-iran-brazil-south-africa-schengen-uk-ireland-india.html 

Examples:

Mario Rossi has a NIE with ESTA issued on January 6, 2021 - as of today, this NIE authorization will be considered valid until January 5, 2022 for multiple entries (although the system is set to be valid for 30 days).

Mario Rossi obtained a visa with an NIE annotation on January 6, 2021 - as of today this authorization will be considered valid until January 5, 2022 for multiple entries (although the system is set to be valid for 30 days).

Travelers with tan NIE must also show, upon boarding, a negative Covid test result (molecular or antigenic) carried out 3 days before departure to the United States. Furthermore, it is recommended that an additional test (molecular or antigenic) be carried out between the third and fifth day of arrival in the country, in addition to compliance with a period of isolation of 7 days. If a test between the third and fifth day of arrival in the U.S. is not taken, self-isolation must last 10 days.


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