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Special thanks to Ginger Partee, John Foerster and Matthew Gorman.

Noncitizen travelers can pack their bags. With certain requirements, noncitizen travelers will be allowed to travel to the US as of November 8, 2021, under President Biden’s Proclamation on Advancing the Safe Resumption of Global Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic. The new rules, which focus on the vaccination status of noncitizen travelers, replace the country specific restrictions that have been in place since March 2020. The proclamation also contains limited exceptions within the proclamation for noncitizen travelers who have not been vaccinated.

Critically, nonimmigrant visa holders always require US visa stamps to reenter the United States. Although the travel restrictions will be lifted for vaccinated travelers as described below, the US Consulates and Embassies remain closed for routine visa processing – meaning that travelers should expect long backlogs when scheduling visa stamping appointments. This could be a damper on travel for many foreign national visa-holders who have been “stuck” in the United States over the course of the pandemic and are looking to travel home during the holidays.

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