U.S. Border Restrictions on Non-essential Travel at U.S. Land Ports of Entry
On March 20, 2020 the U.S. and Mexico released the U.S./Mexico Joint Travel Initiative that sought to limit non-essential travel between the countries via land ports of entry. Since then, the border closure to "non-essential travel" was extended every month. The White House lifted the restrictions on land travel across the U.S./Mexico border for fully vaccinated travelers on November 8, 2021. Travel via the land border for tourists is now permitted.
The requirement for fully vaccinated status applies only to those travelers that are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents, essentially those people holding tourist visas for the U.S. The U.S. is planning to require proof of being fully vaccinated for ALL border crossers sometime in early January 2022.
What does this mean for you? Read our Questions & Answers below to better understand the facts on how cross border travel is being impacted.
For what reasons can I travel to Mexico now that U.S. border restrictions have been lifted?
Land travel to Mexico was never restricted during this initiative. So, you can continue to travel to Mexico as your needs/wants dictate.
If I am a U.S. Citizen, Green Card Holder, or hold a U.S. Work Visa will I be processed as normal upon entry to the U.S.?
Yes, until the next phase of the U.S. restrictions, which is believed to be slated to begin in early January 2022.
- Are a U.S. Citizen
- Are a Green Card Holder
- Or, Have a U.S. Work Visa
you will be permitted entry into to the U.S. from Mexico, and you will be processed as you normally would. No proof of vaccination will be required at this time.
If I am a Mexican Citizen with a Tourist Visa, but not a Green Card, will I be processed as normal upon entry to the U.S.?
Sort of. You will be asked if you are fully vaccinated. You should be prepared to show paper or digital proof of your vaccination status if requested. It is possible you may be sent to secondary inspection for further verification of your vaccinated status.
How long will the initiative last?
The border initiative limiting land travel for the purposes of tourism and recreation was lifted on November 8, 2021 for fully vaccinated travelers. Please keep abreast of the State Department website announcements, and local border news sources for any changes or modifications to the initiative.
Which vaccines are being accepted by the U.S. for the purposes of travel across the border?
The U.S. is accepting all the vaccines approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) and/or the CDC. Those vaccines are the following:
WHO approved vaccines:
- Moderna. mRNA-1273. Phase 1. ...
- Pfizer/BioNTech. BNT162b2. Phase 1. ...
- Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) Ad26.COV2.S. Phase 1. ...
- Oxford/AstraZeneca. AZD1222. Phase 1. ...
- Serum Institute of India. Covishield (Oxford/AstraZeneca formulation) Phase 1. ...
- Sinopharm (Beijing) BBIBP-CorV (Vero Cells) Phase 1. ...
- Sinovac. CoronaVac.
The CDC approved vaccines are the Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.