On October 12, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced that the United States will begin easing restrictions on land and ferry border crossings from Canada and Mexico in two phases.

  • Phase 1: Starting in early November, the Department of Homeland Security will allow nonessential travel across the border into the United States for vaccinated individuals. During this first phase, unvaccinated individuals will still be permitted entry for essential travel.
  • Phase 2: The Department of Homeland Security is scheduled to begin the second phase of restrictions in early January, which will require all individuals to be fully vaccinated, except those under limited exceptions, such as children.

The announcement is a welcome addition to the White House’s rescission of COVID-19 related travel bans impacting travelers from China, Iran, the Schengen Area, U.K., Ireland, Brazil, South Africa, and India, which was reported by my colleague, Kevin Wang. Those restrictions are also scheduled to end in early November, and all travelers entering the U.S. by air will be required to provide proof of vaccination.

If you have questions about your particular case, contact the Harris Beach immigration team to discuss the options that may be available to you. Our Immigration Law Practice Group includes immigration attorneys that work across New York State in our Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca, Long Island, New York City, Rochester and Syracuse offices. Our immigration lawyers focus on strategies – including immigrant visas for permanent U.S. resident status and temporary visas for foreign nationals – to ensure that companies are able to hire, transfer, and retain the brightest and best non-U.S. talent.