New modalities of access to American territory

Who will benefit from an exemption from the vaccination requirement for travel to the United States?

U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, and U.S. permanent residents are exempt from vaccination requirements. Fully vaccinated people will still need to travel with proof of their vaccination status.

For foreign nationals, there are a limited set of exemptions from the vaccination requirement. The exempted persons are:

  • Children under the age of 18;
  • People with documented medical contraindications to receiving a COVID-19 vaccine;
  • Participants in certain COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials;
  • Individuals with a humanitarian or emergency exception evidenced by a letter issued by the U.S. government confirming the urgent need to travel;
  • Persons with a valid visa except for B-1 (business) or B-2 (tourist) visas who are citizens of a foreign country where the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine is limited;
  • Persons on diplomatic travel or on official travel for a foreign government;
  • Members of the United States armed forces, their spouses or their children (under the age of 18);
  • Ships’ crew members traveling under a C-1 and D nonimmigrant visa;
  • Crew members of airlines or other aircraft operators if such crew members and operators adhere to all industry standard protocols for the prevention of COVID-19;
  • Persons whose entry into the United States would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, Secretary of Transportation, or Secretary of Homeland Security (or their designees).

For more information on exemptions, see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Individuals granted an exemption will generally be required to certify that they will comply with applicable public health requirements (testing within 3-5 days of arrival, 7-day self-isolation), including, with very rare exceptions close to the obligation to be vaccinated in the United States if they intend to stay there for more than 60 days.

What vaccine regimens will be recognized by the United States?

Travelers will be considered fully immunized by the United States:

  • 2 weeks (14 days) after injection of one dose of Janssen/J&J vaccine.
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after injection of a second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines; Moderna; Astra Zeneca; Covishield; BIBP/Sinopharm and Sinovac.
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after receiving the full series of an “active” COVID-19 vaccine (no placebo) in US clinical trials of the AstraZeneca or Novavax vaccine.
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after receiving 2 doses of a combination of US-accepted COVID-19 vaccines, given at least 17 days apart.

Attention, the 14 days after administration of the last dose must be complete to board a flight to the United States. For example, if your last dose was given on November 1, you meet the 14-day requirement from November 15.

If you do not meet these conditions, you are not considered fully vaccinated. French nationals who have received only one dose of vaccine after being infected with COVID-19 therefore do not meet the necessary conditions to travel to the United States.

By whom and how will the vaccination status of travelers be checked?

In addition to checking for proof of a negative test result before boarding as has been the case since January 2021, airlines will now also check the vaccination status of travelers.


  • Check the correspondence between the name and date of birth entered on the identity document presented by the passenger and his proof of vaccination.
  • Determine whether the certificate was issued by an official source (e.g., public health agency, government agency) in the country where the vaccine was administered;
  • Determine if passengers meet the US definition of a fully vaccinated person (vaccine product received, number of doses of vaccine received, date(s) given, location of vaccination).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Oct. 25 order on contact tracing now requires airlines to collect contact information for all international travelers entering the United States, including their full names, as well as a phone number. phone, email address, and an address at which they can be reached while in the United States. The airlines will retain this information which they can provide to the CDC upon request.

Please note that anyone who chooses to travel to the United States is exposed to a risk of contamination with COVID-19 and must, if necessary, respect a period of isolation of at least 5 days required by the authorities. Americans. The Consulate does not cover the health costs of French people traveling to the United States, so we advise travelers to take out health/hospitalization/repatriation insurance.

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