International Air Travel Ban Lifted for Vaccinated Intended Parents as of November 2021
Since essentially the start of the COVID pandemic, international travel bans have been in place from 33 countries making it challenging for international intended parents from around the world to fly from foreign countries to the United States to be here for the delivery of their baby. Intended parents were many times required to obtain special permission from the Department of State or other regulatory bodies in order to obtain permission to travel into the United States. This request sometimes required voluminous documentation to make the request such as proof of travel plans, a letter from an OB or lawyer explaining the importance of travailing the U.S. to be here for the birth, passports, ID's, and other necessary information. In the height of lock downs in 2020, some intended parents were unable to travel the U.S. in time to make it for the delivery of their child. On September 20, 2021, it was announced that the Biden administration will be lifting the air travel bans starting in November 2021 to allow vaccinated intended parents with a negative COVID test to travel to the United States. Read more about the lift in the international travel ban CLICKING HERE. Foreign intended parents will need to show proof of vaccination before boarding and a negative COVID test within 3 days of traveling to the U.S. The change in laws also will allow unvaccinated U.S. citizens to travel to the U.S. with a negative COVID test within one day before traveling with proof that they bought a test to take after arriving in the united States. The Center for Disease Control considers people fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the single dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Fully vaccinated will include other vaccines listed for emergency use by teh World Health Organization such as AstraZeneca. This recent change in travel restrictions only relates to air travel and does not affect restrictions along the land border. Travel restrictions are a constantly evolving process so it is critical that intended parents are aware of the most up to date international travel requirements which may include vaccination (and what constitutes being fully vaccinated), negative COVID tests, or it may go back to getting special permission to travel to the U.S. in advance of such travel. It is also recommended that international intended parents pursuing surrogacy in the United States speak to a U.S. immigration attorney to make sure they have the proper documentation in order to travel to and stay in the United Sates for enough time to be here for any required medical procedures and for the delivery of the child. International intended parents should also speak to an attorney in their home country to ensure that all required legal steps are taken back at home in order to secure parental rights in their home country. It is also helpful for a U.S. surrogacy attorney to coordinate with an intended parents' foreign attorney at all stages of the surrogacy process to make it all as smooth as possible for the intended parents.