March 30, 2020

Travel out of the United States

The Department of State advises U.S. citizens to reconsider travel abroad at this time due to the global impact of COVID-19, and has issued a “Global Level 4 Health Advisory – Do Not Travel.” For those not in the U.S., the Department of States advises that they “consider returning to your country of residence immediately using whatever commercial means are available.”

If you or someone you know is currently stranded outside the U.S., please direct them to the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a free service allowing U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. STEP allows U.S. citizen travelers to receive immediate assistance and support from the relevant embassy or consulate in the event of an emergency, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information and to enroll, please visit the STEP website.

If you are considering flying, please contact your airlines to determine if there are any additional changes or restrictions implemented by airline carriers.

Travel to the United States

The U.S. has banned the entry of all foreign nationals who have been physically present in China, Iran, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK or Ireland 14 days before their arrival in the U.S.

These travel restrictions impact all foreign nationals with the exception of:

  • U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents (“green card holders”)
  • Certain family members of U.S. citizens or green card holders:
    • Spouses of U.S. citizens or green card holders
    • Unmarried children of U.S. citizens or green card holders under the age of 21
    • Siblings of U.S. citizens or green card holders as long as both sibling and U.S. citizen or green card holder are unmarried and under the age of 21
  • Those who were physically present in the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau
  • Those who were physically present in any of the overseas territories of the United Kingdom outside of Europe, known as “British Overseas Territories”

American citizens, lawful permanent residents, and their immediate families who are arriving from impacted area must travel through one of 13 airports where DHS has established enhanced entry screening capabilities:

  • Boston-Logan International Airport (BOS), Massachusetts
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Illinois
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Texas
  • Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), Michigan
  • Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Hawaii
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Georgia
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York
  • Los Angeles International Airport, (LAX), California
  • Miami International Airport (MIA), Florida
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), New Jersey
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO), California
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Washington
  • Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD), Virginia

All those returning from the impacted area must self-quarantine for 14 days after their arrival.

From March 21 through April 20, travel into the U.S. across the Canada and Mexico borders is limited to “essential travel” only.  “Essential travel” includes:

  • U.S. citizens and green card holders continue to be permitted to enter the U.S.
  • Travel for medical purposes
  • Travel to attend educational institutions
  • Traveling to work in the U.S.
  • Lawful cross-border trade

“Essential travel” does not include tourism, sightseeing, recreation, gambling, or cultural events.

For additional guidance, please visit U.S. Embassy and Consulate site.

Visa Issuance

The Department of State is temporarily suspending routine visa services at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates. Embassies and consulates will cancel all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments as of March 20, 2020. Embassies and consulates will continue to provide emergency and mission critical visa services.

24 Hour Consular Emergency Line: U.S. 1.888.407.4747 / Outside the U.S. 1.202.501.4444

For additional guidance, please visit U.S. Embassy and Consulate site.

The following links are provided as a resource on country specific visa & travel restrictions globally.

The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic is both novel and rapidly changing.  The situation remains fluid and there are developments daily. Information provided is for reference only, and current as of March 30, 2020.  For additional guidance, please reach out to your local CAIR-CA office:

  • Greater Los Angeles: 714-776-1177
  • Sacramento Valley/Central California: 916-441-6269
  • San Diego: 858-278-4547
  • San Francisco Bay Area: 408-986-9874