Documents needed to travel to the United States: Passport, proof of covid-19, visa and more among the documents required

If you are planning a trip to the United States, you should know the list of documents that the authorities require before setting foot on North American territory. What in years past was reduced to a visa and passport has now changed due to the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes covid-19. Here we share the details:


One of the essential requirements for traveling to the United States is a passport, issued by the ministry or secretary of relations or foreign affairs of the country of origin. All travelers without exception, unless they are naturalized American citizens, must have this document. The passport must be in good condition and be valid for at least six months after the planned return date.

Visa for the United States

The visa issued by the American consulate of each country is necessary to enter the United States, with the exception of 39 countries in the world which envisage a stay of 90 days maximum and only for tourism or business, in particular Australia , Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, among others. In the case of these countries, tourists only need to process an ESTA (Electronic System For Travel Authorization).

Form I-94

Travelers entering the United States are asked to complete this form detailing their entry into and exit from the country. On this sheet, tourists write down their personal information, the house or hotel where they are staying, the number of days of their stay, their contact details and whether they are carrying more money than the authorized or specific food. All travelers must complete this form, except Canadian citizens, US citizens and undocumented immigrants.

Vaccination certificate

Due to the covid-19 pandemic, a mandatory requirement to enter the United States is to have the full SARS-CoV-2 vaccination schedule. And not only that, the vaccine must be approved by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), like Janssen/J&J in a single dose; and Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Covaxin, Covishield, BIBP/Sinopharm, Sinovac and Novavax/Covovax, in a two-dose schedule. Vaccination certificates can be presented as verifiable cards (digital or paper), non-verifiable paper cards (for example: CDC vaccination card) and non-verifiable digital cards (mobile application without QR code).

covid-19 test

And, finally, the American authorities require a negative test result for covid-19. This is an antigen test or PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction); It should be mentioned that the antibody test is not valid because said test does not detect the virus in the body but detects if in the past you had covid-19 in your body. According to official CDC provisions, some travelers, such as Mexicans, must have their antigen tests performed no later than 24 hours before their flight.

Other documents

In some cases, US authorities may require a Border Crossing Card or Border Crossing Card, it is a document that allows Mexican citizens to enter the United States and is equivalent to the B1/B2 visa for tourists; similarly, travelers can process an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization), which allows tourists to enter the United States for 90 days without the need for visa approval, as in the case of citizens of the 39 countries that do not need it. a document. The visa waiver program is similar to ESTA in that it can be processed for a short period of time, especially for people who need to visit the country for courses, seminars or very short stays.

The pandemic does not give up

The outlook is not encouraging for travellers. Over the New Year’s weekend, US commercial airlines canceled 2,373 flights and worldwide that figure stands at more than 3,900, according to the FlightAware website.

The airlines that canceled the most flights were Southwest, JetBlue, Delta and American Airlines, each with more than 100 flights; Southwest canceled 264 and JetBlue halted 16% of its business operations.

The TSA (USA Transportation Security Administration) revealed that, from Friday December 31st to Monday January 3rd alone, it forecast a visitor flow of 10 million people. In the past 10 days, it is estimated that more than 14,000 commercial flights have been canceled.

As if that weren’t enough, for the first time in four months, more than 100,000 people are hospitalized in the United States due to covid-19 and its variants, including omicron, which medical experts have classified as ” very contagious.” The hospitalization record dates back to January 2021, when more than 142,000 confirmed cases were recorded.

In the previous weeks, the increase in infections among infants has increased and this scenario worries the international medical community. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association, more than 170,000 children tested positive for COVID-19 from December 9-16 alone. This means a 28% increase in two weeks.

Leave a Comment