Traveling to the U.S. by Air: Updates to the COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination Requirements

Last Updated

December 17, 2021

The travel and COVID-19 testing requirements for individuals traveling to the United States by air from a foreign country have been updated. Please see below. 

I.    Testing Requirements for Travel to the U.S. By Air

On Dec. 2, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control, or CDC, amended its Oct. 25, 2021, order titled “Requirement for Proof of Negative COVID-19 Test or Recovery from COVID-19 for All Air Passengers Arriving in the United States.” This amendment updates COVID-19 testing requirements for air passengers 2 years or older requiring all passengers boarding a flight to the United States to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than one day before travel to the United States. This requirement applies to all travelers, including U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents and foreign nationals.

Individuals who have recently recovered from COVID-19 will be required to provide documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days before they board their flight. This documentation must include a letter from a licensed healthcare provider or public health official stating that the individual is cleared for travel, as well as a positive COVID-19 viral test result on a sample taken no more than 90 days before the flight’s departure from a foreign country.

II.    Vaccine Requirement for Travel to the U.S. By Air

In order to travel to the United States by air, a non-U.S. citizen or nonimmigrant (not a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, lawful permanent resident, or traveling to the United States on an immigrant visa) will need to show: 

  1. Proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before traveling by air; and 
  2. A negative result of a COVID-19 viral test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States. 

For information regarding the vaccination requirement, including details on exceptions, please visit:

If you have any questions about the travel and vaccination requirements and how they affect you or your religious workers, please contact your assigned RIS Attorney, reach us at our main line at (301) 565-4832 or email