Skip to Content

Department of Homeland security to require vaccination for all non-citizen travelers

Adam Klepp

Previous guidelines only required full vaccination for non-essential travel.

YUMA, Ariz (KECY, KYMA) - Starting at midnight on January 22nd, the Department of Homeland Security will be requiring all non-citizens traveling to the U.S. to be fully vaccinated.

Previously, only those traveling for non-essential reasons were required to be fully vaccinated.

This change comes as the Omicron variant is causing record numbers of daily cases and hospitalizations in the United States.

Customs and Border Patrol Tucson Field Office Director Guadalupe Ramirez says he doesn't expect the change to impact border wait times here in the desert southwest.

"Our wait times fluctuate throughout the year anyway," Ramirez said. "We feel confident we're prepared to address this increased workload."

Ramirez says their system will not change. Travelers will be asked on primary inspection if they are vaccinated. If they are selected for secondary inspection, then they may be asked to show proof of their vaccination status.

Ramirez adds that in Arizona, agents have not encountered issues asking for proof of vaccination.

"We've had very few cases where someone gets to the port, and they don't have the required documents when we ask for it," Ramirez says.

Those under the age of 18 will still be exempt from the vaccination requirement.

Travelers also need to be vaccinated with a CDC-approved vaccine.

Some vaccines given in Mexico, including the CanSino vaccine, are not on the CDC's approved list.

CDC list of approved vaccines for non-citizen travel.
Author Profile Photo

Adam Klepp

Adam Klepp is excited to start his first job in the broadcast news industry as the FOX9 at 9 anchor and as a reporter at 5 and 6 on News 11.

Skip to content