In an effort to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, several Presidential proclamations are currently in place to restrict the entry of certain travelers into the United States.
With a few specific exceptions, foreign nationals who have visited any of the countries listed below during the last 14 days are prohibited from entering the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website, these countries are:
- European Schengen area
- Republic of Ireland
- United Kingdom
For a complete list of exceptions, you can view the relevant proclamations by following the links included on this page. As provided in each proclamation, U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, certain family members, and others able to meet the specified exceptions and have been in one of the countries mentioned above in the last 14 days will be allowed entry into the U.S. only through one of 15 airports.
What to expect upon arriving in the U.S.
Currently, entry screening and restrictions only apply to the countries mentioned earlier. Rules and guidelines are subject to change according to new developments during the COVID-19 pandemic. Anyone who enters the U.S. may be required to go through a screening process.
If you’re entering the U.S. as an immigrant or a nonimmigrant visa holder (or arriving from a country that does not require you to have a visa), the first person you are going to meet upon arrival will be a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer.
The CBP officer will take a look at your passport and verify that you have permission to enter the U.S. If you are entering the country on an immigrant visa, you will need to give the CBP officer the sealed envelope containing your immigration papers.
Remember to prepare all required paperwork before you approach the CBP officer. All of the officers are trained to be skeptical and highly discerning, as their primary concern is security.
Keep in mind that due to precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the procedure mentioned above might involve a more intensive and thorough screening depending on the country you’ve departed from as well as your port of entry in the U.S.
If you’re arriving from a designated country with a high rate of COVID-19 positive cases, you will need to accomplish and submit a health form. After you’ve gone through the customs and immigration checks, you will be required to undergo additional screening. This may involve steps such as a temperature check and other medical protocols, especially for travelers observed to have possible symptoms of COVID-19.
The screening procedures are subject to change on short notice. Before travelling, remember to check the Department of Homeland Security website for updated information on current procedures.
Lines and delays
Be prepared to encounter long queues due to the additional screenings and inspections. To ensure a shorter entry to the U.S., you can try applying for a U.S Trusted Traveler program, which is available for travelers arriving from countries that are considered low-risk. Getting approved for the program will allow you to enter through kiosks located throughout designated airports, so you won’t have to stand in line for passport control and inspection.
In case you are bringing in large amounts of currency or certain goods however, you will need to go through the standard inspection lines, even if you’re approved in the trusted traveler program.
After you’ve arrived
Domestic and/or international travel increases your risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Although a person can feel well and not have any known symptoms of the coronavirus, he or she can still be contagious.
After travelling, you and anyone who accompanied you during your trip pose a risk to those you interact with for 14 days after potential exposure to the virus. Regardless of which country you’ve been to, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind that can prevent the further spread of the virus:
- When in public places (whether indoors or outdoors), try to always maintain a distance of at least six feet from other people who are not part of your household.
- Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer frequently, especially after touching surfaces.
- Wearing a mask will keep your mouth and nose covered when you’re out in public.
- Be aware of COVID-19 symptoms. Monitor your temperature in case you’re feeling sick.
- Remember to get information on any state or local requirements and recommendations after travel.
If you’re planning on moving to the USA, get in touch with Viewpoint Realty by calling 727.584.7355, or send an email to viewpointrealtyinternational(at)gmail(dotted)com. You can also leave a message here.