Travelling to the US

How COVID-19 Affects Your Application to Travel
Updated December 20, 2021


All non-immigrant, non-citizen air travelers to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of vaccination status prior to boarding an airplane to the United States.

See Requirement for Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination for Air Passengers for more information about necessary vaccination documentation or for exemptions to the vaccine policy.

All travelers in Canada must be fully vaccinated in order to travel by most air, rail, or passenger vessels.  In addition, some provinces continue to limit discretionary activities, such as visits to restaurants, bars, gyms, and retail shops, to individuals who can provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination.  Please consult for updated information on travel restrictions, proof of vaccination, provincial regulations, and related items.

Land border restrictions for travel to the United States remain in effect through January 21, 2022 and may be extended.  Fully vaccinated foreign travelers are able to travel to the United States across the Northern and Southwest borders with Canada and Mexico.  Travelers who enter the United States at land POEs and ferry terminals do not require proof of a negative test; in addition, U.S. citizens and LPRs do not need to provide proof of vaccination status at land POEs and ferry terminals.  Please visit the Department of Homeland Security webpages for fact sheets and frequently asked questions.

Several restrictions are in place for travellers from Canada who are going into the United States, including those who have obtained a US Entry Waiver. A US entry waiver is a necessary document for people travelling to the United States with a criminal record.

For more information about travel requirements, visit the US Embassy website.

Both nations have stated that the lifting of social restrictions will be dependent on high vaccination rates and continued low community transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

Though travel restrictions have hindered travel to the US, now is the best time to get started on your US Entry Waiver application, as it can take approximately 6 – 18 months to compile the application.

A US Entry Waiver is issued by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) so that Canadians can cross the border into the United States, even if they have a criminal record (including misdemeanors or alcohol-related driving offenses, such as DUI). Travellers with a US Entry Waiver can typically enter via air or land any number of times throughout the duration of their granted waiver.

If you have been previously stopped at the border and refused entry because of your criminal record, your record information is permanently in the database and your best option will be to obtain a US Entry Waiver. If you have a criminal record, find out if you qualify for a US Entry Waiver.

The United States can refuse admission to any person convicted of a criminal offence. This means that if you have a criminal record, you should obtain a US Entry Waiver to ensure that you will not be turned back at the border and that you can legally travel to, or through, the U.S.

Some state, local, and territorial governments have requirements, such as requiring people to wear masks and requiring those who recently travelled to stay home for up to 14 days. Check state, territorial, tribal and local public health websites for information before you travel. If you are traveling internationally, check the destination’s Office of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Health or the US Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Country Information for details about entry requirements and restrictions for arriving travelers, such as mandatory testing or quarantine.

If you have a criminal record and are planning to travel to the US, contact an advisor today for a free consultation.

Questions? Contact us for more information.


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