Requesting a CDC Waiver for Pre-Flight COVID-19 Vaccination or Testing

Beginning on November 8th, 2021, new regulations for international air travel to the United States went into place.

Entry Requirements 

There are three major requirements for vaccinated travelers going to the United States and all three must be met (U.S. citizens and immigrant visa holders only need to meet numbers 1 and 3):

1. A valid travel document – U.S. passport, visa, or an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)

2. Proof of full vaccination (not required for U.S. citizens and immigrant visa holders)

3. A negative COVID test for people 2 years old and older.  (Alternatively, documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel may be submitted.)

Check the CDC website for more information on the vaccination and testing requirements and Frequently Asked Questions.  Information about exceptions to the vaccine requirement can be found here.  The CDC has also issued this checklist of what you need depending on your situation.

Waivers

The CDC will only consider waivers on an extremely limited basis when emergency travel (such as a medical evacuation) must occur to preserve someone’s life, health against a serious danger, or physical safety AND either 1) testing cannot be completed before travel (for a waiver of the testing requirement) or 2) the person is unable to become fully vaccinated before travel (for a waiver of the vaccine requirement).  Both requirements (emergency travel AND inability to get a test or vaccine) must be met.

If you believe you qualify for and wish to request a waiver, you should gather the information listed below and download and fill out the spreadsheet located here.  Email the completed spreadsheet and all supporting documents in a single email to CDCWaiverParis@state.gov.  The Embassy will forward your request to the CDC.  The CDC and ONLY the CDC makes all waiver decisions.

a.       Type of Humanitarian or emergency request

  • Exemption from predeparture testing requirement; and/or:
  • Exception for requirement for proof of being fully vaccinated:

b.      Name (family name/surname, given name), passport number, and nationality:

c.       Cell phone number including country code of passenger or head of household if family unit:

d.      Email address of passenger or head of household if family unit:

e.       U.S. destination address:

  • Is U.S. destination home address?

f.        Flight itinerary, including any connecting flights

  • Airline:
  • Flight #:
  • Departure airport and date of departure:
  • Arrival airport and date of arrival:

g.      Vaccination Status

  • Fully Vaccinated
    • Name of vaccine product (or products if a combination):
    • Date of first dose:
    • Date of second dose (if a two-dose series):
    • PDF or photograph of vaccination record:
  • NOT Fully Vaccinated

h.      Purpose of travel to the United States (provide brief explanation of why urgent travel is needed and how travel will contribute to health and safety of passengers(s)):

i.       As applicable:

  • Justification for humanitarian exemption for testing requirement (e.g., no testing available where passenger is located): 
  • Justification for humanitarian or emergency exception to providing proof of being fully vaccinated (e.g., vaccine availability, passenger ineligible for vaccine at location, insufficient time to become fully vaccinated):

j.        Documentation to support justification for exception if provided (e.g., medical records or orders for medical evacuation):

k.   Information regarding any other solutions that were sought prior to application (e.g., flight changes, testing en route, assistance in obtaining testing/vaccination, etc.):

The Embassy will forward your request to the CDC as expeditiously as possible.  The decision about a waiver is in the sole discretion of the CDC.  Based on prior experience, the CDC is very strict, and most requests are denied.  Once we receive the CDC decision, we will forward it to you.