We have received many questions from of our clients who are Canadians and who want to come to the U.S. for recreation/to visit their families. during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Travelling via land border
As of the time of writing this blog post, you cannot come to the U.S. via land-border if you are coming for “non-essential” reasons (for example tourism, vacation, recreation, or to visit your family). The land border closure was originally enacted in March and was then extended by October 21, 2020.
However, “essential travel” is still permitted and you could come to the U.S. if:
– You work in the U.S. (e.g. entering the U.S. on a TN visa or H-1B visa)
– You study in the U.S.
– You are entering the U.S. to provide critical infrastructure support
– You are entering the U.S. to provide economic services and supply chains
– You are entering the U.S. to provide health, immediate medical care, and safety and security services
Please see all the categories that qualify for the essential travel when you click here.
Please note that even if you are entering the U.S. for the purpose of work (e.g. you are planning to apply for a TN at the border), we would recommending contacting the specific port of entry you are planning to enter through before coming to the U.S. to make sure they are currently processing TN visa applications.
Travelling by plane
If you are travelling to the U.S. by plane, then you can enter the U.S. for both essential and non-essential travel. This means, that if you are coming to the U.S. by plane, you can come to the U.S. for purposes of tourism, recreation, vacation, or to visit your family.
That being said, people entering the U.S. as tourists during the Covid-19 are undergoing much higher scrutiny at the border than before and you should be ready to explain why you are coming to the U.S. and how long you are planning to stay. Nowadays, the travelers coming to the U.S. for recreation are being questioned much more than before about their planned trip, how long exactly they need to stay, what they are going to do in the U.S. etc.
It is also likely that the CBP officer will not admit you to the U.S. for the full 6 months but will likely limit your stay to the time necessary to complete your purpose of travel. For example, if you say that you need to visit your family for 2 weeks, you will most likely not be admitted for 6 months (the maximum period of time you can stay in the U.S. on a B-2 status), but will be more likely admitted for 2-4 weeks.
Additionally, also workers who are entering the U.S. for the purpose of work (e.g. TN workers) or people who are entering the U.S. as B-1 business visitors are now facing higher scrutiny.
Additionally, please note that while the travel to the U.S. is permitted, when you are entering the U.S., the CBP officer at the border will make a final determination whether or not you will be allowed to enter the U.S.
Please see our blog post on TN visa processing during Covid when you click here.
Please read our blog on the top 10 Covid questions when you click here.
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