Covid Exemption

Requirement for Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination for Air Passengers

Required for non-U.S. citizen, nonimmigrant passengers arriving from a foreign country to the United States by air

What You Need to Know

  • If you are a non-U.S. citizen who is a nonimmigrant (not a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, lawful permanent resident, or traveling to the United States on an immigrant visa), you will need to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before you travel by air to the United States from a foreign country.
  • Some categories of noncitizen, nonimmigrants are excepted from this requirement. If you meet the criteria for one of these categories, you will need to fulfill additional requirements to travel by air to the United States.
  • At this time, all air passengers ages 2 or older, regardless of citizenship or vaccination status, must show a negative result of a COVID-19 viral test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board a flight to the United States. For more information about these testing requirements, visit Requirement for Proof of Negative COVID-19 Test or Documentation of Recovery from COVID-19.

On October 25, 2021, the President issued a Proclamationexternal icon to suspend and limit entry into the United States for non-U.S. citizens who are nonimmigrants, referred to as “Covered individuals,” seeking to enter the United States by air travel and are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19. On the same day, CDC issued an Order to implement the President’s direction. The Proclamation and CDC’s Order do not apply to U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, U.S. lawful permanent residents,  immigrants, or, under certain circumstances, air crew members. Additionally, the Proclamation and CDC’s Order have no effect on certain groups of non-citizens. For more information, including exceptions, see Presidential Proclamationexternal icon and Frequently Asked Questions below.

Are you Fully Vaccinated for Air Travel to the United States?

You are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks (14 days) after your dose of an accepted single-dose vaccine
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after your second dose of an accepted 2-dose series
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after you received the full series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine (not placebo) in a clinical trial
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after you received 2 doses of any “mix-and-match” combination of accepted COVID-19 vaccines administered at least 17 days apart*

If you don’t meet these requirements, you are NOT considered fully vaccinated. A booster dose is not needed to meet this requirement.

A person who has received only one dose of an accepted 2-dose series and has recovered from COVID-19 does not meet this definition, and therefore is NOT considered fully vaccinated for travel to the United States.

*CDC has not recommended the use of mix-and-match COVID-19 vaccine primary series. However, such strategies are increasingly common in many countries outside of the United States. Therefore, for the purpose of interpreting vaccination records for travel to the United States, CDC will accept combinations of accepted COVID-19 vaccines.

U.S. Citizens, U.S. Nationals, and U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents

The Presidential Proclamation and CDC’s Order do not apply to U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or U.S. lawful permanent residents (Green Card holders).

For additional information on actions to take before, during, and after international travel, visit International Travel: Information for U.S. Citizens, U.S. Nationals, Lawful Permanent Residents, and Immigrants.Top of Page

Immigrants and Other Non-affected Persons

The Presidential Proclamation and CDC’s Order do not apply to immigrants (including Special Immigrant Visa holders). An immigrant is any non-U.S. citizen who has a visa listed in “Immigrant Visa Categories” on the U.S. Department of State’s webpage Directory of Visa Categoriesexternal icon; it does not include K nonimmigrant visa holders, who are Covered Individuals (see below).

The Presidential Proclamation and CDC’s Order have no effect on several non-U.S. citizens, including:

  • Non-U.S. citizens eligible for asylum;
  • Non-U.S. citizens eligible for withholding of removal;
  • Non-U.S. citizens eligible for protection under the regulations issued pursuant to the legislation implementing the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment;
  • Non-U.S. citizens admitted to the United States as refugeesexternal icon;
    • Persons with a visa 92 or 93 (Follow-to-Join) status; and
  • Non-U.S. citizens granted parole into the United States.

NOTE: Certain categories of non-U.S. citizens, including immigrant visa applicants/holders, refugees, parolees, and asylees, and those seeking to enter the United States by land or sea travel may be subject to separate COVID-19 vaccination requirements. These individuals are advised to consult and become familiar with all applicable U.S. requirements for entry.

For additional information on before, during, and after international travel, visit International Travel: Information for U.S. Citizens, U.S. Nationals, Lawful Permanent Residents, and Immigrants.Top of Page

Air Crew Members

The Presidential Proclamation and CDC’s Order do not apply to crew members of airlines or other aircraft operators while on official duty status if such crewmembers and operators adhere to all industry standard protocols for the prevention of COVID-19 as set forth in relevant guidance for crewmember health issued by the CDC or by the Federal Aviation Administration in coordination with the CDC. Please see the Technical Instructions for more information.

Aircraft Operators/ Airlines/ Crew

For additional information, resources, and FAQs please visit the following webpages:

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Noncitizens, Nonimmigrants (Covered Individuals)

Noncitizens who are nonimmigrants and seeking to enter the United States by air are required to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States from a foreign country.

If you are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you will NOT be allowed to board a flight to the United States, unless you meet the criteria for an exception under the Proclamation and CDC’s Order. A booster dose is not needed to meet this requirement.

Categories of noncitizen nonimmigrants that meet the criteria for an exception under the Proclamation and CDC’s Order include:

  • Persons on diplomatic or official foreign government travel
  • Children under 18 years of age
  • Persons with documented medical contraindications to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine
  • Participants in certain COVID-19 vaccine trials
  • Persons issued a humanitarian or emergency exception
  • Persons with valid visas [excluding B-1 (business) or B-2 (tourism) visas] who are citizens of a foreign country with limited COVID-19 vaccine availability
  • Members of the U.S. Armed Forces or their spouses or children (under 18 years of age)
  • Sea crew members traveling with to a C-1 and D nonimmigrant visa
  • Persons whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, Secretary of Transportation, or Secretary of Homeland Security (or their designees)

If you travel by air to the United States under one of these exceptions, you will be required to attest that you are excepted from the requirement to present Proof of Being Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19 based on one of the exceptions listed above. Based on the category of the exception, you may further be required to attest that:

  1. You will be tested with a COVID-19 viral test 3–5 days after arrival in the United States, unless you have documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days;
  2. You will self-quarantine for a full 7 days, even if the test result to the post-arrival viral test is negative, unless you have documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days; and
  3. You will self-isolate if the result of the post-arrival test is positive or if you develop COVID-19 symptoms.

Based on the category of the exception, if you intend to stay in the United States for longer than 60 days you may additionally be required to attest that

  • You agree to be vaccinated against COVID-19; and
  • You have arranged to become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 within 60 days of arriving in the United States, or as soon thereafter as is medically appropriate.

A parent or other authorized person should attest on behalf of a passenger under 18 years old. An authorized person may attest on behalf of any passenger who is unable sign their own attestation (e.g., because they are too young, or because of physical or mental impairment). Children under 2 years of age do not need to complete an attestation. As required by United States federal law, all airlines or other aircraft operators will provide and collect the passenger attestation on behalf of the U.S. Government.

If you are a noncitizen nonimmigrant and are fully vaccinated, make sure your vaccine and proof of vaccination are acceptable to board a flight to the United States.

For additional information on recommendations and requirements before and during travel to the United States and after arriving in the United States, visit Non-U.S. citizen Non-U.S. immigrants: Air Travel to the United States

International Travelers: US Travel requirements have changed

Find out what is required before traveling to the United States by air.Top of Page

Accepted COVID-19 Vaccines

Vaccines Approved or Authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug AdministrationVaccines Listed for Emergency Use (EUL) by the World Health OrganizationCertain Clinical Trial Vaccines which Have Confirmed Efficacy  
Single dose  Janssen/J&JJanssen/J&J
2-dose seriesPfizer-BioNTechModernaPfizer-BioNTechModernaAstraZenecaCovaxinCovishieldBIBP/SinopharmSinovacNovavax/CovovaxMedicago

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Acceptable Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination

Documentation TypeExamples
Verifiable records (digital or paper)Vaccination certificate with QR code1, digital pass via Smartphone application with QR code1 (e.g., United Kingdom National Health Service COVID Pass, European Union Digital COVID Certificate)
Non-verifiable paper recordsPrintout of COVID-19 vaccination record or a COVID-19 vaccination certificate issued at national or subnational level or by an authorized vaccine provider (e.g., the CDC vaccination card)
Non-verifiable digital recordsDigital photos of vaccination card or record, downloaded vaccine record or vaccination certificate from official source (e.g., public health agency, government agency, or other authorized vaccine provider), or a mobile phone application without QR code1

1. The QR code in a verifiable vaccination record links to information confirming the credential was generated from an immunization record in an official database and is protected from tampering.

All forms of proof of COVID-19 vaccination must have

  • Personal identifiers (full name plus at least one other identifier such as date of birth or passport number) that match the personal identifiers on the passenger’s passport or other travel documents
  • Name of official source issuing the record (e.g., public health agency, government agency, or other authorized vaccine provider)
  • Vaccine manufacturer and date(s) of vaccination

How the 14 days are calculated:

  • Your last dose must have been given a full 14 days before the day you board your flight to the United States.
  • You are considered fully vaccinated on the 14th day after the vaccination series was completed. For example, if your last dose was any time on October 1st, then October 15th would be the first day that you meet the 14-day requirement.