Immigration legislation & policyTemporary Restriction of Travelers Crossing US-Canada and Mexico Land Borders for Non-Essential Purposes
The United States (U.S.) is cooperating closely with Canada to ensure that North American has a coordinated approach to combating the pandemic caused by the coronavirus also known as COVID-19.

On March 21, 2020, the U.S., Mexico, and Canada temporarily restricted non-essential travel across the US-Canada land borders. These restrictions will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. EDT on October 21, 2021. We are maintaining cross-border activities with Canada and Mexico that support health security, trade, commerce, supply security, and other essential activities while taking critical steps to protect our citizens and to curb spread of the virus.

Does this apply to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents?
This order does not apply to individual persons who should be excepted based on considerations of law enforcement, officer and public safety, humanitarian, or public health interests.

Will this affect Supply Chain?
Supply chains, including trucking, will not be impacted by this new measure. It is critical we preserve supply chains between both countries. These supply chains ensure that food, fuel, and life-saving medicines reach people on both sides of the border. Restrictions on travelers crossing the US-Canada land border for non-essential purposes will help the people of both countries remain safe and reduce spread of the virus, while preserving supply chains.

Will I be able to cross the land border to go to work?
Americans and Canadians cross the land border every day to do essential work or for other urgent or essential reasons, and that travel will not be impacted.

What restrictions are there to essential travel?
To safeguard our economic ties, travelers with essential purposes can continue to cross the land border and will be exempt from a self-isolation requirement. In addition, travelers with family care, educational or humanitarian reasons will continue to be affected. Restricted travelers will be returned to their last point of origin (Mexico or Canada) and CBP will suspend case processing of inadmissible individuals, to include those subject to travel restrictions.

I have the proper documents but CBP turned me away?
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will continue to accept migrants at the ports of entry who provide the proper travel documents and otherwise admissible for cross border traffic and trade/travel. Ports of entry (POEs) will permit entry of legitimate documented travelers not subject to previously announced travel restrictions and who present proper documentation for essential travel only.

Will this affect cargo shipments?
CBP will continue to facilitate legitimate movement of cargo, as there has been no identified threat as it relates to cargo shipments. FAST/SENTRI/Global Entry for trade and business travel will continue to operate with additional vetting and voluntary COVID-19 screening compliance.

Will CBP detain migrants at holding facilities?   
CBP will no longer detain migrants in our holding facilities and will immediately return migrants to the country they entered from – Canada or Mexico. Where such a return is not possible, CBP will return migrants to their country of origin.

To help prevent the introduction of COVID-19 into our border facilities and into our country, migrants subject to the order will not be held in congregate areas for processing by CBP and instead will immediately be turned away from ports of entry.

Those encountered between ports of entry after illegally crossing the border similarly will not be held in congregate areas for processing and instead, will immediately be returned to their country of last transit.

How long will CBP hold migrants at detention facilities because of COVID-19?  
The spread of coronavirus is exacerbated by human-to-human transmission and the need for detention. CBP law enforcement facilities are for short-term holding and do not provide for needed large-scale isolation, diagnosis, or treatment of such a novel disease.

Are the CBP facilities equipped for quarantine?
CBP facilities are not structured or equipped to effectively quarantine an infected population. CBP would be forced to rely on state and local hospitals to provide longer-term medical care for individuals who fall ill, further burdening our strained healthcare system and depriving Americans of key medical resources.

Although CBP has policies and procedures in place to handle transmittable diseases, COVID-19 will impact already strained holding capacities and place an extreme burden on what is forecasted to be a stretched healthcare system and the nation’s critical medical professionals who are needed to attend to U.S. citizens and legal residents.

Migrants should shelter-in-place in their homes and communities, rather than attempting a long and dangerous journey to the United States borders at the hands of traffickers and smugglers.

Canada restrictions

Fully vaccinated foreign nationals who meet the requirements of a fully vaccinated travelers can travel to Canada. Travelers from countries outside of Canada who are not fully vaccinated are not able to enter Canada unless they already meet an exemption set out in the Orders made under the Quarantine Act.

For additional information on non-essential and essential travel to Canada, please visit the Government of Canada website at:

To view other Federal agencies response to COVID-19, please go to

For updated information on the Coronavirus, please visit the CDC website

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E-mail:  Canero Lammers Immigration Law Group