January 21, 2022

New COVID Vaccine Requirements for H-2A Workers

Beginning on January 22, 2022, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will require non-U.S. individuals seeking to enter the United States via land ports of entry and ferry terminals at the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and provide related proof of vaccination, as COVID-19 cases continue to rise nationwide.

These new restrictions will apply to non-U.S. individuals who are traveling for both essential and non-essential reasons, including H-2A workers and daily commuters. They will not apply to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, or U.S. nationals.

Before crossing into the United States, H-2A visa holders should be prepared for the following:  

  • Possess proof of an approved COVID-19 vaccination as outlined on the CDC website.
  • During border inspection, verbally attest to their COVID-19 vaccination status.
  • Possess a valid passport and H-2A visa.

To be considered “fully vaccinated” for purposes of travel to the United States, vaccines accepted will include current FDA approved or authorized vaccines and World Health Organization (WHO) emergency use listed (EUL) vaccines. This means that some commonly available vaccines in Mexico (CanSino and Sputnik), will not be accepted.

Individuals are considered fully vaccinated:

  • 14 days after the first dose of an accepted single-dose COVID-19 vaccine;
  • 14 days after the second dose of an accepted 2-dose series;
  • 14 days after receiving 2 doses of any “mix-and-match” combination of accepted COVID-19 vaccines administered at least 17 days apart.

FAQs about COVID vaccine requirements can be found on the CDC website