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Fact Sheet: Guidance for Travelers to Enter the U.S. at Land Ports of Entry and Ferry Terminals

Release Date: 
October 29, 2021

Updated Date: January 20, 2022

As of Saturday, January 22, 2022, vaccination requirements will apply to additional groups of travelers entering the United States at land ports of entry (POEs) and ferry terminals.

Beginning on January 22, 2022, DHS will require non-U.S. individuals seeking to enter the United States via land ports of entry and ferry terminals at the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide related proof of vaccination, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise nationwide.

These new restrictions will apply to non-U.S. individuals who are traveling for both essential and non-essential reasons. They will not apply to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, or U.S. nationals.

What To Expect

As travel resumes, wait times are expected to increase. The resources below are intended to prepare travelers to improve their cross-border travel experience. Travelers should plan for longer than normal wait times and longer lines at U.S. land border crossings when planning their trip and are reminded to exercise patience.

To help reduce wait times and long lines, travelers can take advantage of innovative technology, such as facial biometrics and the CBP OneTM mobile application, which serves as a single portal for individuals to access CBP mobile applications and services.

Arrival at Land Port of Entry or Ferry Terminal

Effective January 22, 2022, inbound non-U.S. individual travelers (non-U.S. citizens who are neither U.S. nationals nor lawful permanent residents) can seek to enter the United States via a land port of entry (POE) or ferry terminal if they are fully vaccinated and have appropriate documentation.

Non-U.S. individuals traveling to the United States via land ports of entry or ferry terminals, whether for essential or non-essential reasons, must:

  • verbally attest to their COVID-19 vaccination status;
  • provide proof of a CDC-approved COVID-19 vaccination, as outlined on the CDC website;
  • present a valid Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)-compliant document, such as a valid passport, Trusted Traveler Program Card, or Enhanced Tribal Card;
  • be prepared to present any other relevant documents requested by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer during a border inspection; and
  • meet all other existing requirements for entry not related to COVID-19.

COVID-19 testing is not required for entry via a land or ferry port of entry.

Click here to see answers to frequently asked questions

Background

In March 2020, to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, the U.S. government issued restrictions on travel into the United States. DHS implemented temporary restrictions, limiting entry at the U.S. northern and southern land borders to persons engaged in essential travel, including lawful trade, emergency response, and public health purposes. The White House suspended entry to foreign nationals who had recently been in certain countries.

In October 2021, the White House announced that, starting November 8, 2021, the U.S. government would move away from the country-by-country restrictions previously applied during the COVID-19 pandemic and adopt travel policies that rely primarily on vaccination to advance the safe resumption of travel. As of January 22, 2022, DHS will similarly impose vaccination requirements on non-U.S. Individuals seeking to cross into the United States at the land borders.

CDC Resources

Additional Information

Last Published Date: January 20, 2022
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