Ask the Consul — November 2021

Question:  I am planning to travel to the United States for the holidays.  What are the latest travel requirements to enter?  If I don’t have a visa, what can I do?

Answer:  As the holiday season draws closer, U.S. Embassy Port of Spain strongly encourages potential travelers to be aware of updated travel guidelines so visitors to the United States can be reunited with family and friends.  Effective November 8, the United States will require all adult foreign air travelers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.  Foreign travelers and vaccinated U.S. citizens must show proof of full vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test taken within three days of travel to the United States before boarding.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will accept all FDA-approved or WHO-authorized vaccines for air travel to the United States.  For travel purposes, the United States considers anyone 18 or over to be an adult.  Children younger than 18 will follow the testing regimen of their accompanying parents.

Unvaccinated U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within one day of departure to the United States and proof they have purchased a viral test to test again after arrival.

The U.S. Embassy traditionally experiences a surge in applications and demand for visa appointments during the holiday months of November and December.  Due to COVID-19, the Consular Section is not able to host as many in-person interviews as before.  If you have previously held a B1/B2 visa (commonly known as a tourist visa) that expired in the last 48 months, you may be qualified to send in your documents by mail and have your interview waived.  We encourage applicants to go to our Embassy website, tt.usembassy.gov/visas/, for additional information.

First time B1/B2 applicants should expect delays in scheduling an interview due to the continuing prevalence of COVID-19 cases.  As conditions improve and visa services reopen you will be able to reschedule your interview.  Please be reassured that your visa application fee is valid until September 30, 2023, and we look forward to welcoming you to the Embassy for your appointment when we can do so safely.

For more information on entry requirements to the United States, please visit travel.state.gov.

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