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Travel to US Restrictions: What Do You Need to Know
travel to us restrictions
Viola Tsui
Content Editor and Customer Support at Textr
Published Aug 24, 2022

Although travel restrictions to US soil vary by your country of origin, most are universal. Luckily, with a bit of research, you can easily find information about your requirements for US entry.

That’s what we’ll cover in this article. Below, you’ll find out more about travel restrictions to US and what you should do to prepare for travel to the USA.

Does the US Have Travel Restrictions for Air Passengers?

When we talk about travel restrictions US, we don’t necessarily mean things like visas. Importantly, these are travel conditions – you generally can’t begin your travel without them. Restrictions, on the other hand, are factors that might prevent you from entering the country once you arrive at the airport.

If you travel to the US by plane, there aren’t many restrictions in place:

travel to us flight

Vaccination Status

Keeping The first restriction is proof of your COVID-19 vaccination status, or proof of your exemption. This will typically be a document from your country’s health authority stating that you have been vaccinated. Alternatively, it will give the reason why you’re exempt.

Contact Information

One of the more important travel to US restrictions is contact information. You must provide the Department of Homeland Security with a contact telephone number within 72 hours of your flight departing.

There are several reasons for this, but it’s mainly so you can be reached if someone on your flight tests positive for COVID. If you fail to provide contact information within 72 hours, you could be removed from the country.

Does the US Have Travel Restrictions on Land Ports and Ferry Terminals?

Requirements for US entry via land or sea are similar to those required at airports.

travel to the us

Documentation

You’ll need the correct travel documentation, which is a passport at the very least. You may also need a visa depending on your reason for entering the US. There’s more information on this below.

Vaccination Status

Again, you need to show proof of your vaccination status if you want to travel to the USA. It must be a CDC recognized COVID vaccination, so check the list before you make travel plans. Of course, there’s not loads you can do if your vaccine isn’t on the list, but it does cover most standard ones.

us travel

Other Documentation

US Customs and Border Protection may ask you for other documentation. This will depend on your reason for travel and the type of visa you hold (if any). For example, worker visas might require you to show proof of your home address. Any extra documentation you need will be stated during your application.

Because it can vary based on your specific requirements, make sure you bring everything with you that you might need.

Contact Information

Make sure you provide border enforcement agents with a contact telephone number if asked. It doesn’t have to be your domestic cell phone number, however. Providing you can be reached on that number while you’re in the country, it’ll be fine.

How Can I Be Well Prepared When I Travel to the USA?

When you travel to the USA, make sure you prepare for entry. It’s not necessarily a difficult process, but it’s made much easier by having the correct documents ready. Here are some tips for dealing with travel restrictions to US ports for non-US citizens.

travel to us

Check If You Need a Visa

In theory, you should already know if you need a visa to enter the US. There are immigrant and nonimmigrant visas. The difference between these categories is whether or not you plan to stay for an extended period. Some examples are:

  • Tourism: B-2
  • Student: M or F
  • Temporary worker: H-2A or H-2B
  • Business: B-1
  • Journalist or media: I

Before applying, check whether your country is part of the visa waiver program. Note, this doesn’t cover all types of visas but typically gives you a set period of visa-free travel to the USA.

Purchase Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is a no-brainer when going to a different country. Although not having it isn’t on the travel to US restrictions list, it would be in your best interest to get it.

First, make sure you’re covered during the flight. This means having luggage and flight protection insurance. The latter will reimburse you if your flight is canceled or delayed, although the conditions vary between providers.

Then, there’s the obvious one: medical insurance. You probably already know that medical bills in the US are expensive, so it makes sense to have your own insurance in place. Without it, you’ll be left to pay for the whole bill like any other uninsured person.

Again, the conditions will vary depending on the provider, but medical insurance isn’t too expensive. It’s certainly cheaper than the potential bills you’ll be left with if you need medical care in the US!

Get a US Phone Number

As mentioned, border enforcement will ask you to provide a contact number for your stay in the US. Nothing is stopping you from giving your domestic phone number, but be prepared for massive bills if someone contacts you.

Instead, consider getting a short-term US phone number or data plan. There are plenty of ways to do this, including rolling plans, prepaid plans, and secondary SIM cards. Providing your phone is unlocked, getting a US number is a sensible choice.

travel to the us

Best Sim Card for Traveling to the USA

To get around the requirements for entry, consider using an eSIM for your US phone number. It’s the same as a normal SIM, except you don’t need to install a physical card. The benefit is that you can quickly and easily set up new phone numbers, especially when you’re traveling.

Textr will soon launch an eSIM service that’s perfect for travel to the USA. We have a variety of plans that are considerably cheaper than mainstream US carriers, and they can be taken out for much shorter periods.

Also, make sure you take advantage of Textr Team with eSIM while traveling. It allows you to text and call in the same app and to set up multiple phone numbers from different countries. Finally, you get unlimited texts and high-quality call minutes.

Download Textr Team today and start your free trial. It’s available on iOS, Android, and web browser.

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