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

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: April 21, 2022

As of Thursday, April 21, 2022, DHS will extend COVID-19-related land border entry requirements. Non-U.S. travelers seeking to enter the United States via land ports of entry and ferry terminals at the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof of vaccination upon request.  

These restrictions apply to non-U.S. travelers who are traveling for essential or non-essential reasons. They do not apply to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, or U.S. nationals. 

This announcement does not affect requirements for entry into the United States by air.

As travel returns to pre-pandemic levels, wait times are expected to increase. The resources below are intended to prepare travelers to improve the 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 arriving or departing from air, sea or land ports of entry are encouraged to opt in to using Simplified Arrival or Mobile Passport Control, which can make the inspection process touchless and more expedient with the use of facial comparison technology. Documented non-citizens may also apply for and manage their I-94s through 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

Since January 22, 2022, DHS has allowed inbound non-U.S. travelers (non-U.S. citizens who are neither U.S. nationals nor lawful permanent residents) to 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, upon request, 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   

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

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 also 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. Since January 22, 2022, DHS has imposed a vaccination requirement on non-U.S. individuals seeking to cross into the United States at land ports of entry or ferry terminals. 

Last Updated: 04/21/2022
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