Sanwar Ali: US COVID-19 UK and EU travel ban ends 8 November

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By Sanwar Ali:

The White House confirmed on Monday 25 October that all current COVID-19 travel bans will end from 12:01 am Eastern Standard Time on Monday 8 November 2021.  There will however be a new policy that will apply to everyone irrespective of nationality and place of residence.  The new policy will be based on vaccination status and whether or not the traveller has tested negative for COVID-19. 

Details of various changes have recently been reported in the National Law Review.  Currently if you wish to enter the US, having departed from certain countries including the UK and EU countries, in most cases you need to travel to another country first (not subject to the "visa ban") and wait fourteen days before entering the US.  This has greatly inconvenienced US work visa holders such as those on L1 visas and E2 visas and B1/B2 visitors


New US visa entry requirements for vaccinated non-immigrant travellers 8 November

In most cases, those wishing temporary entry to the US will need to show that they have been fully vaccinated.  Travellers aged two or over will usually need to show a negative COVID-19 viral test or documentation showing recovery from COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the US.  Further details can be found on the CDC website.


Entry of unvaccinated travellers to the US in limited circumstances

In most cases, unvaccinated travellers will still not be allowed entry to the US from 8 November.  There are exceptions for the following: 

  • Government or diplomatic related travel.

  • Children under age 18.

  • Those who can provide evidence that they should not take the vaccine.

  • Participants in certain COVID-19 vaccine trials.

  • Those coming under humanitarian or emergency exception.

  • Those entering on valid visas (other than visitors for business or tourism) from countries with limited access to vaccines.

  • Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their spouses and children.

  • Crew members traveling by sea.

  • Those whose entry is considered to be in the national interest of the U.S.


Current US COVID travel ban is for EU countries, the UK and certain other countries

Currently, those that wish to travel from the following countries will in most cases have to travel to another country first and wait for their for fourteen days before.  The COVID-19 “travel ban” will end on 8 November 2021 for the following countries:

China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau), Iran, Brazil, India, the United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, and the Schengen area of Europe comprising Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.


Borders between US, Mexico and Canada will reopen for non-essential travellers

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on 12 October 2021 had previously announced In the first phase from 8 November 2021 U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will allow travelers who are fully vaccinated from Mexico or Canada to entry to the US via land and ferry ports for non-essential travel. You will need to show proof of vaccination.  Those who have not been fully vaccinated will not be allowed entry via the land and ferry borders.  In the second phase in early January 2022 both essential and non-essential travelers will need to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination. can help with US employment-based visas

If you would like to apply for a US work visa – including L1 visasE2 visasO1 visas and H1B visas - can help. is a specialist visa services firm with over thirty years of experience dealing with visa applications. We can help with a wide range of visa applications to your country of choice. Contact us for further details. You can also telephone 0344 991 9222.