Travel Update: New Requirements as of November 8, 2021

Travel restrictions for travel to the United States changed on November 8. Please see the CDC’s website for information on what you need to travel to the United States.

Noncitizens who are nonimmigrants and seeking to enter the United States by air are required to show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States from a foreign country.

Previously issued National Interest Exceptions (NIE) to the former Presidential Proclamation are no longer valid and all travelers will need to meet the new requirements. These requirements apply to all travelers to the United States, even if you are just transiting to your final destination.

Please pick the situation below that applies to you for more information on U.S. travel restrictions and visa processes at this time. See our general FAQs below for further information about COVID-19 tests and quarantine requirements for all travelers to the United States, including U.S. citizens.

We will continue to update this page with any changes to travel restrictions or visa operations as they become available.

SECTION 1: General FAQs about traveling to the United States
SECTION 2: Information for U.S. citizens or Legal Permanent Residents
SECTION 3: Information for non-immigrant visa or ESTA holders
SECTION 4: Information for non-immigrant visa or ESTA applicants
SECTION 5: Information for immigrant visa holders and applicants

SECTION 1: General FAQs about travel during COVID-19

You are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 2 weeks (14 days) after an accepted single-dose vaccine
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after your second dose of an accepted 2-dose series
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after you received the full series of an active (not placebo) COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S.-based AstraZeneca or Novavax COVID-19 vaccine trials
  • 2 weeks (14 days) after you received 2 doses of any “mix-and-match” combination of accepted COVID-19 vaccines administered at least 17 days apart*

If you don’t meet these requirements, you are NOT fully vaccinated.

The CDC has not recommended the use of mix-and-match COVID-19 vaccine primary series. However, such strategies are increasingly common in many countries outside of the United States. Therefore, for the of purpose of interpreting vaccination records for travel to the United States, CDC will accept combinations of accepted COVID-19 vaccines.

Airlines will verify vaccination status. U.S. Embassy Stockholm will not be able to intervene to verify vaccination status for travelers to an airline.

To prove a passenger is fully vaccinated, they will need to show their vaccination status either via a paper record, a photo of the paper record or via a digital app. It should be issued by an official source and should include the traveler’s name and date of birth as well as the vaccine product and date(s) of administration for all doses the traveler received. Information on acceptable proof of a COVID-19 vaccine is available on the CDC website. If you have further questions over whether or not your documentation is acceptable, we would advise contacting your airline.

 

The CDC may grant a humanitarian or emergency exception in limited circumstances only when an individual must travel to the United States to preserve health and safety (e.g., emergency medical evacuations) and is unable to become fully vaccinated before travel. Individuals who fit the exception criteria described in the Presidential Proclamation and CDC’s Order may contact the U.S. embassy or consulate in or nearest the country from which they are departing for the United States. The embassy will then transmit this information to the CDC for consideration.

To facilitate the review of a humanitarian or emergency exception request, the following information should be provided by email to stockholmniv@state.gov for each passenger for transmission to the CDC:

  • Name (family name/surname, given name)
  • Passport number
  • Nationality
  • Cell phone number (including country code) of passenger or head of household if family unit
  • Email address of passenger or head of household if family unit
  • U.S. destination address
    • Is U.S. destination a home address?
  • Flight itinerary, including any connecting flights
    • Airline
    • Flight number
    • Departure Airport and date of departure
    • Arrival airport and date of arrival
  • Vaccination Status
    • Fully vaccinated
      • Name of vaccine product (or products if a combination)
      • Date of first dose
      • Date of second dose (if a two-dose series)
      • PDF or photograph of vaccination record
    • NOT fully vaccinated
  • Purpose of travel to the U.S. and a brief explanation of why urgent travel is needed
  • Justification for humanitarian or emergency exception to providing proof of being fully vaccinated (e.g., vaccine availability, passenger ineligible for vaccine at location, insufficient time to become fully vaccinated)
  • Documentation to support justification (e.g., medical records, orders for emergency evacuation)
  • Information regarding any other solutions that were sought prior to application (e.g., flight changes, testing en route, assistance in obtaining testing/vaccination, etc.)

Children under 18 are exempt from the vaccination requirement for travelers.  However, children between the ages of 2 and 17 are still required to take a pre-departure test.

If a child is not fully vaccinated and traveling with a fully vaccinated adult, they can show proof of a negative viral test taken from a sample within three days before departure.

If a child is not fully vaccinated and traveling alone or with unvaccinated adults, they will have to show proof of a negative viral test from a sample taken within one day of departure.

Click here to review the COVID-19 testing requirements for all air travelers to the United States over 2 years old.

You must be tested with a viral test that could be either an antigen test or a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT). Rapid tests are acceptable if they are a viral test that meet the requirements.

A test result must be in the form of written documentation (paper or digital copy). The documentation must include:

  1. Type of test (indicating it is a NAAT or antigen test)
  2. Entity issuing the result (e.g., laboratory, healthcare entity, or telehealth service)
  3. Sample collection date
      • A negative test result must show the sample was taken no more than 3 days before the flight for air passengers who have proof of being fully vaccinated, or no more than 1 day before the flight if the air passenger is not fully vaccinated.
      • A positive test result for documentation of recovery from COVID-19 must show the sample was taken within the 90 days before the flight.
  4. Information that identifies the person (full name plus at least one other identifier such as date of birth or passport number)
  5. Test result

Before boarding a flight to the U.S., you will need to show a paper or digital copy of your test result for review by the airline and for review upon request by public health officials after you arrive in the U.S.

People who have recovered from COVID-19 can continue to test positive for up to 3 months after their infection.

If you have had a positive viral test on a sample taken during the past 90 days, and you have met the criteria to end isolation, you may travel instead with your positive viral test results and a signed letter from a licensed healthcare provider or a public health official that states you have been cleared for travel. The positive test result and letter together are referred to as “documentation of recovery.”

A letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official that clears you to end isolation, e.g., to return to work or school, can be used to show you are cleared to travel, even if travel isn’t specifically mentioned in the letter. The letter must have information that identifies you personally (e.g., name and date of birth) that matches the personal identifiers on your passport or other travel documents. The letter must be signed and dated on official letterhead that contains the name, address, and phone number of the healthcare provider or public health official who signed the letter.

If you have recovered from COVID-19 but are not able to obtain documentation of recovery that fulfils the requirements, you will need to show a negative COVID-19 viral test result from a sample taken no more than 3 days (or 1 day if you are not fully vaccinated) before your flight to the U.S. departs.

No. All travelers will need to meet the new travel requirements regardless of any previous National Interest Exception they obtained.

SECTION 2: Information for U.S. citizens or Legal Permanent Residents

Please see the CDC’s website for information on international travel to the United States for U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) or immigrant visa holders.

From November 8, COVID-19 testing requirements for international air travel to the United States will change depending on a traveler’s vaccination status.

Fully vaccinated U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, LPRs and immigrant visa holders will have to show documentation of a negative viral COVID-19 test administered no more than three calendar days prior to the date of the international flight to the United States.

Unvaccinated U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, LPRs and immigrant visa holders will have to show a negative viral COVID-19 test administered within one day of departure for the United States.

SECTION 3: Information for non-immigrant visa or ESTA holders

Please see the CDC’s website for updated requirements for ESTA and non-immigrant visa holders.

From November 8, travelers using an ESTA or non-immigrant visa will be required to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of this vaccination status prior to boarding an airplane to fly to the United States.

There will be no need as of November 8 for travelers from specific countries, such as Sweden, that were previously under U.S. travel restrictions to obtain a National Interest Exception (NIE) in order to travel to the United States. Previously issued NIEs will no longer be valid and all travelers will have to meet the new requirements.

For information on exceptions to the new vaccination requirements and how to qualify for an exception, please see the CDC’s website on exceptions.  For information on COVID-19 testing requirements, please see the CDC’s website on testing requirements ahead of travel to the United States.

SECTION 4: Information for non-immigrant visa or ESTA applicants.

While travel restrictions to the U.S. have changed, we have not resumed routine visa services.  We are working to resume routine visa services as soon as resources allow but are unable to provide a specific date at this time.  Please continue to monitor this website periodically as it is where we will post any further updates.

SECTION 5: Information for immigrant visa holders and applicants

The Presidential Proclamation and CDC’s Order do not apply to immigrants. People applying to enter the United States as immigrants (with exceptions) are required to have a medical examination that includes a COVID-19 vaccination requirement before they are issued an immigrant visa.

Please see the CDC’s website for information on international travel to the United States for U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) or immigrant visa holders.

We have now begun to process visa applications in all immigrant and fiancé(e) visa categories. However, appointments remain extremely limited as a result of the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We are unable to provide an estimate as to when your case will be processed but thank you for your patience while we continue to clear the backlog. We can’t provide personalized answers by email, social media, or telephone about topics that are covered here.