The New US International Travel Policy

United States International Travel Policy Beginning November 8, 2021:

Beginning November 8, 2021, international travelers who are neither United States citizens nor United States immigrants must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before traveling to the United States from a foreign country, unless they are subject to one of the limited exceptions mentioned below.

What does it mean to be “fully vaccinated” against COVID-19?

You are considered “fully vaccinated” against COVID-19 if it has been at least fourteen (14) days since receiving:
A. An accepted single-dose COVID-19 vaccine;
B. The second dose of an accepted 2-dose series;
C. The second dose of any “mix-and-match” combination of accepted COVID-19 vaccines administered at least seventeen (17) days apart; or
D. The full series of an active COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S.-based AstraZeneca or Novavax COVID-19 vaccine trials.

Your last dose must have been given a full fourteen (14) days before the day you board your flight to the United States. For example, if your last dose was on October 1, 2021, then October 15, 2021, is the first day that you meet the fourteen (14) day requirement.

Which vaccines are “accepted”?

Vaccines approved or authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as well as vaccines listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization are accepted.

Vaccines approved or authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:

Single-dose: Janssen / J&J

Two-dose series: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna

Vaccines listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization:

Single-dose: Janssen / J&J

Two-dose series: Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Covishield, BIBP/Sinopharm, Sinovac

What proof of vaccination is required to travel to the United States?

Three (3) types of documentation will be accepted as proof of vaccination by airlines:

1. Verifiable records (digital or paper). Examples include a vaccination certificate with a QR code and a digital pass via Smartphone application with a QR code. The United Kingdom National Health Service COVID Pass and the European Union Digital COVID Certificate both qualify as verifiable records.

2. Non-verifiable paper records. Examples include a printout of a COVID-19 vaccination record or a COVID-19 vaccination certificate issued at a national or subnational level or by an authorized vaccine provider. The United States Center for Disease Control vaccination card qualifies as a non-verifiable paper record.

3. Non-verifiable digital records. Examples include digital photos of vaccination card or record, downloaded vaccine record or vaccination certificate from an official source (such as a public health agency, government agency, or another authorized vaccine provider), or a mobile phone application without a QR code.

What information must be present on the proof of COVID-19 vaccination?

Each type of documentation must have the following information to constitute proof of COVID-19 vaccination:
1. Personal identifiers that match the personal identifiers on the traveler’s passport or other travel documents. The minimum personal identifiers required are full name and date of birth.
2. Name of official source issuing the record, such as the public health agency, government agency, or another authorized vaccine provider.
3. Name of vaccine manufacturer and the date(s) of vaccination.

Airlines should be contacted directly if you have questions about whether your documentation is sufficient.

Are there additional requirements?

Yes. In addition to providing proof of vaccination before boarding a flight to the United States, international travelers must also show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than three (3) days before travel.

International travelers will be required to provide contact information to airlines before boarding flights to the United States for contact tracing purposes

International travelers will also be required to wear a mask over the nose and mouth in indoor areas of public transportation and in United States transportation hubs, including airplanes and airports.

What are the limited exceptions to the vaccination requirement?

There are limited exceptions to this requirement, including for:
– Children under the age of 18;
– Persons on diplomatic or official foreign government travel;
– Persons with documented medical contraindications to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine;
– Participants in certain COVID-19 trials;
– Persons issued a humanitarian or emergency exception;
– Persons with valid visas [excluding B-1 (business) or B-2 (tourism) visas] who are citizens of a foreign country with limited vaccine availability;
– Members of the U.S. armed forces or their spouses or children (under the age of 18);
– Sea crew members traveling pursuant to a C-1 and D nonimmigrant visa; and
– Persons whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, Secretary of Transportation, or Secretary of Homeland Security (or their designees).

If you fall within one of the limited exceptions above, additional documentation may be required. Please contact BridgehouseLaw LLP at (980) 219-5200 for more information.

The US To Lift Travel Ban to Vaccinated Travelers

The U.S. To Lift Travel Ban to Vaccinated Travelers

US to lift travel ban



The Biden Administration has announced plans to lift the travel ban on travelers to the United States. Only vaccinated travelers who submit to contact tracing will be allowed into the Country. The travel bad could be lifted as early as November.

This travel ban has been in place ever since President Trump implemented it in 2020 and was extended by President Biden once he took office. The ban encapsulated those who have been in one of these countries/areas within 14 days of entering the United States:

  • The Schengen area
  • The United Kingdom/Ireland
  • India
  • South Africa
  • Brazil
  • China
  • Iran

Before and until the travel ban ends, the only way to get into the United States from one of those countries is to either; quarantine in a country not listed above for 14 days or obtain a National Interest Exception (NIE).

The Biden administration has not yet confirmed which vaccines will be accepted. It’s likely to be the vaccines already approved in the United States and Europe, but it’s not clear if vaccinated individuals with Indian, Chinese, or Russian-made vaccines will be allowed in.

Not much information has been disclosed about the process, but once the travel bans are lifted, demand for U.S. visas will likely increase dramatically. U.S. Embassies and Consulates are already short-staffed (as you can read in our article about international students struggling to get U.S. visas) and will get worse.

The Biden Administration states that they are aiming to replace the current travel bans/restrictions with a “safer, stronger and more sustainable” system.

Exactly how they will conduct the contact tracing has not been stated.

Each state has the freedom to implement its own regulations as well. Some states may require proof of a negative COVID test within 3-days of traveling or quarantining, and some may not.

If you are interested in obtaining a U.S. visa or have any other questions regarding immigration, contact our Charlotte office:

Chicago Employers Must Allow Employees Time Off to Get the Vaccine

Chicago Employers Must Allow Employees Time Off to Get the Vaccine 

Do you want to get vaccinated and cannot take time off work? Hello, this is Reinhard von Hennigs. And if you are in the city of Chicago, you may be in luck because the city of Chicago, enacted a Corona vaccine city ordinance, which prohibits companies and individuals from discriminating based on the fact that somebody would like to have a Corona vaccination. This ordinance imposes significant penalties for employers who somewhere block or prevent their teams, their staff to go and get vaccinated.

By the same token, it boils down to what can you, as a company do to make sure that you are not subject to any employment issues related to the vaccine. And here are my quick takeaways. Number one, if there is an opportunity for you to get your team vaccinated, why not get them vaccinated if it gives your organization the ability to operate? Because we may be soon at a time where the fact that somebody is vaccinated would allow or prevent somebody from entering a plane, traveling, doing sales promotion, or whatever it is. Second, New York is a state where there is a four-hour mandatory vacation for our mandatory paid time off for Corona vaccines.

Third of all, there are some side effects discussed as well, and certain companies are implementing rules that if you have side effects related to the COVID vaccine, you may get paid time off as well. So my summary story is to figure out if you are running a company, what other special rules in your jurisdiction?

And just because you are not aware of it yesterday, it does not mean that they may not be in place tomorrow because we all know the law can change fast. And finally, good common sense makes a lot of sense. So if somebody wants to get a vaccine to harass that person is certainly not a good idea. You would not stop somebody from getting the flu shot. Or would you?

#397, April 2021, COVID vaccine, Chicago, time off, New York.