On March 21, U.S., Canada, and Mexico announced that the land borders between the three countries will close to non-essential travel. The initial closure was to last through April 20 and has now been extended to August 20.
The Department of Homeland Security have defined non-essential travel as travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature, including sightseeing, gambling, and attending cultural events.
Essential travel includes the following:
- 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 agriculture industry who must travel between the United States and Canada or Mexico 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 cross-border trade (e.g., truck drivers supporting the movement of cargo between the United States and Canada and Mexico).
- Individuals engaged in official government travel or diplomatic travel.
- Individuals engaged in military-related travel or operations.
Trade and business travel are not considered essential but will continue with additional screening. U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and individuals with valid travel documents (including visas and travel documents) are exempt from the restrictions. Foreign nationals should expect detailed questioning about their employment or business activities in the United States should they enter on B-1 Business visitor visas or visa waivers. To learn more about processing TN Visas in Times of US Canada Border COVID-19 Restrictions, please click here.
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