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The U.S. Finally Opens Its Borders to Canada and Mexico

Plenty of restrictions and rules to follow that can be confusing.

Starting today, foreign nationals who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and have appropriate documentation will be permitted to enter the United States via land ports of entry (POEs) and ferry terminals for non-essential reasons such as tourism. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) reminds these travelers to be prepared to (1) provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination, as outlined on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website; and (2) verbally attest to their reason for travel and COVID-19 vaccination status during a border inspection.

“Today, after more than 18 months of pandemic-related travel restrictions, DHS is taking a critical step toward resuming normal travel,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “Travelers who are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and have appropriate documentation are now permitted to enter the United States via our land and ferry border crossings for non-essential reasons such as visiting friends and family and engaging in tourism. DHS continues to work closely with our international partners and domestic public health experts to sustainably resume travel while protecting our communities and economic security.”


DHS’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is working to prevent long lines at land POEs and ferry terminals as normal travel resumes. However, long lines are expected in the initial days following pent-up demand, and CBP will adjust resources as needed, while continuing to facilitate lawful trade and travel and protect our national security. Travelers are advised to expect longer-than-normal wait times, familiarize themselves with the new guidelines, and have appropriate documentation ready during a border inspection.


U.S. citizens are reminded to bring a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)-compliant document, such as a valid U.S. passport, Trusted Traveler Program card, Enhanced Driver’s License, or Enhanced Tribal Card, when re-entering the United States and should be prepared to present a WHTI-compliant document if requested by a CBP Officer during a border inspection. Any non-citizen attempting to enter the United States through illegal means or without appropriate documentation may be subject to expulsion or removal.


To help reduce wait times and long lines, travelers can take advantage of facial biometrics and the CBP One™, which is a single portal for CBP mobile applications and services.


To learn more about the updated requirements for travelers, review the DHS fact sheet.

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