Unpacking DHS’ Move to Lift Title 19 Travel Restrictions
July 6, 2023
In a significant development, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the lifting of Title 19 travel restrictions. This change will ease travel into the United States for non-U.S. citizen travelers and began on May 12, 2023.
Specifically, non-U.S. citizens or legal permanent resident travelers entering the United States through land ports of entry and ferry terminals are no longer required to prove they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Title 19 was an order under the United States Code that restricted non-essential travel through U.S. borders to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. With the lifting of travel restrictions in the US, individuals can now breathe easier knowing that the process of international travel will be less stringent.
On May 1, 2023, the Department of Homeland Security released an official statement regarding the lifting of Title 19 requirements. According to the statement, the U.S. government decided to make this change in light of the improved pandemic conditions and the widespread availability of vaccines. This development indicates that the U.S. is making strides in returning to a semblance of normalcy following the Covid-19 pandemic.
With the lifting of Title 19 requirements, there will likely be an increase in non-U.S. citizen travelers entering the country, potentially leading to longer processing times for visas and other immigration documents due to the higher volume of applications and entries.
This development might also affect other immigration procedures, such as issuing the temporary I-551 stamp. The easing of travel restrictions may affect the processing times and requirements for obtaining this stamp, which serves as temporary proof of lawful permanent resident status. Travelers and immigrants may also experience changes in the documentation requirements for entering the U.S.
For visitors, the travel planning process may become more convenient. Without presenting proof of vaccination at land ports of entry and ferry terminals, individuals may find it easier to make plans for tourism, business, or visiting family and friends. However, staying updated on the latest travel advisories and requirements is always good practice because they can change quickly, especially regarding global health issues.
For those seeking citizenship or permanent resident status in the United States, lifting Title 19 requirements may also impact the process. Before this change, vaccination against COVID-19 was one of the requirements. Since you no longer have to present proof of vaccination, this could mean that individuals who were previously unable to meet this requirement can now proceed with their immigration processes.
As a result, we could experience an increase in the number of individuals applying for permanent residency, similar to when the U.S. lifted Title 42.
Though Title 19 has been lifted, it’s essential to remain vigilant and informed regarding future U.S. border COVID restrictions. The situation with COVID-19 is dynamic, and policies may change in response to the evolving conditions. Travelers should stay abreast of homeland security news and consult reliable sources for the latest information.
At Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C., we understand that navigating the complexities of immigration and travel during these trying times can be daunting.
Remember, although Title 19 requirements have been lifted, it’s crucial to comply with the ongoing U.S. vaccination entry requirements and to stay informed about any changes in travel policies.
If you have any questions or need assistance with immigration matters, don’t hesitate to contact our dedicated team of professionals. We are here to help you through every step of your journey