Covid-19 Prevention and Travel Requirements!
Dev B. Viswanath, Esq.
With the United States on the verge of inaugurating a new President, Joseph Biden Jr., we are also getting hit with a new strain of the virus that is apparently much more contagious than the previously understood strains. This has encouraged and pressured the Biden administration to make roll out of the vaccine drastically more available so that the most people can be protected as possible. Already at 400,000 US deaths with an expected 100,000 in the next 3 to 4 weeks is alarming.
In anticipation, of the incoming administration and what I believe is no doubt related to making things more difficult, with no other reasonable explanation, President Trump through the Department of State has lifted its ban on individuals travelling into the United States from several countries, including Schengen Visas, Brazil, Iran, and China among other countries. The result of this ban ensure many people who will immediately try to buy a ticket if they have visa waiver or a visa to immediately land in the United States before a new President Biden can re-implement the ban. The incoming Biden Administration has already states as such and declared that they would like to reopen travel into the United States in a responsible fashion that will provide protocols in place that will create protections for the United States in light of the pandemic.
To that end, a new mandate has been created whereby Negative COVID-19 Tests will be Required for Travel into the United States. This is a rule that many countries have already began following.
Effective January 26, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will require all air passengers entering the United States to present a negative COVID-19 test, taken within 72 hours of departure. Airlines must confirm the negative test result for all passengers before boarding airlines must deny boarding of passengers if they do not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery. This requirement is separate from the visa application process. All Presidential Proclamations restricting travel due to COVID-19 remain in place, and continue to apply to subject potential travelers regardless of their test results or vaccination status. Travelers holding a National Interest Exception also remain subject to all applicable pre-departure testing requirements.
This rule will, hopefully help the United States to also take proactive approaches to increased visa issuance and consular visa appointments in light of the added protections. The incoming President has announced his intentions to make sweeping and broad changes to the Immigration Process and, if he stands by his words we will see 2021 to be a very prolific year for those who are stakeholders in how America deals with immigration.
If you or a loved one has interest in finding out more about changes in the immigration process or travel restrictions in a Covid 19 era, contact an experienced immigration professional.