A blog about U.S. immigration matters by Paul Szeto, a former INS attorney and an experienced immigration lawyer. We serve clients in all U.S. states and overseas countries. (All information is not legal advice and is subject to change without prior notice.)

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Thursday, April 22, 2021

DHS Extends Land Border Travel Restrictions Until 05/21/2021

DHS has extended the temporary travel restrictions limiting travel of individuals from Canada and Mexico into the United States at land ports of entry through 5/21/21 due to COVID-19.  These restrictions were imposed in early 2020 and have been extended several times.  

Travel into the United States through its land border are restricted to "essential travel" only, which includes, but is not limited to:

• U.S. citizens and lawful permanent  residents returning to the United States;

• Individuals traveling for medical purposes (e.g., to receive medical treatment in the United States);

• Individuals traveling to attend educational institutions;

• Individuals traveling to work in the United States (e.g., individuals working in the farming or agriculture industry who must travel between the United States and Canada in furtherance of such work);

• Individuals traveling for emergency response and public health purposes (e.g., government officials or emergency responders entering the United States to support federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial government efforts to respond to COVID–19 or other emergencies);

• Individuals engaged in lawful crossborder trade (e.g., truck drivers supporting the movement of cargo between the United States and Canada);

• Individuals engaged in official government travel or diplomatic travel;

• Members of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the spouses and children of members of the U.S. Armed Forces, returning to the United States; and

• Individuals engaged in militaryrelated travel or operations.

DHS makes it clear that  traveling for tourism purposes (e.g., sightseeing, recreation, gambling, or attending cultural events) is not considered essential.

Other modes of travel such as air, freight rail, or sea travel into the United States are not restricted.  However, the exception does not apply to passenger rail, passenger ferry travel, and pleasure boat travel between the United States and Canada/Mexico. 

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