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Frequently Asked Legal Questions

Find answers to common questions in our searchable FAQ.

7749 views   |   15   |   Last updated on Mar 30, 2022    COVID-19

Federal laws require international travelers flying to the U.S. who are at least 2 years old to show one of the following: 

Certain international visitors must show proof of vaccination.

Texas laws do not require any additional steps or precautions, such as quarantine.

Traveling From a Foreign Country by Air

Everyone traveling by air to the U.S. who is at least 2 years old must show their airline a negative COVID-19 test result or proof of recent recovery. This rule applies to U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and non-U.S. citizens. According to the CDC:

If you plan to travel internationally, you will need to get a COVID-19 viral test (regardless of vaccination status or citizenship) no more than 1 day before you travel by air into the United States. You must show your negative result to the airline before you board your flight.

If you recently recovered from COVID-19, you may instead travel with documentation of recovery from COVID-19 (i.e., your positive COVID-19 viral test result on a sample taken no more than 90 days before the flight’s departure from a foreign country and a letter from a licensed healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel).

In addition, certain international travelers must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. This does not apply to U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, lawful permanent residents, and immigrants — see the CDC website for details. Their page on travel requirements explains:

You must be fully vaccinated with the primary series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine to travel to the United States by plane if you are a non-U.S. citizen, non-U.S. immigrant (not a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, lawful permanent resident, or traveling to the United States on an immigrant visa). Only limited exceptions apply.

Their quick reference chart for travelers arriving by plane from a foreign country helps you quickly understand requirements. The vaccination requirements are from an order issued by the CDC.

Quarantine or Self-Isolation

Travelers arriving in Texas are not required by law to quarantine or self-isolate. This is true for travelers who arrive in Texas from other U.S. states or from a foreign country. If you have not had a COVID-19 vaccination, the CDC recommends that you quarantine for a full 5 days after you arrive in the U.S. This is a recommendation, not a legal requirement.

Related FAQs

For more information on travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, please see the Immigration & Travel page of our COVID-19 & Texas Law guide.

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