As the holiday season approaches, we would like to provide a comprehensive guide to assist travelers planning international trips to or from the United States. It is important to stay informed about current regulations and considerations, especially in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Here are the key steps and vital information for ensuring a smooth and compliant travel experience:

Step 1: Verify Passport Validity

Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your intended date of departure. This is a standard requirement for entry into the United States, as enforced by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Some countries allow an exception to this rule, which you can confirm using the CBP website. If your passport is nearing expiration, we advise obtaining a new one prior to your trip.

Step 2: Check Visa Status and Appointments

If you are required to have a U.S. visa stamp, or if your current visa stamp is expiring soon, it is essential to schedule an appointment with a U.S. Consulate abroad to obtain a new visa. Prior to your appointment, take the following steps:

Please be aware that you will be required to leave your passport with the U.S. Consulate for visa processing, which may take several days to weeks depending on Consulate timelines. A small percentage of visa applications may undergo additional administrative processing, potentially delaying the return of your passport even further. We recommend allowing plenty of time before your departure in case of any unexpected delays.

Step 3: Consider Pending USCIS Applications

If you have any pending applications with a USCIS Service Center, it is advisable to contact the legal team handling your case to discuss how international travel might impact the processing.

Step 4: Stay Informed About COVID-19 Restrictions

Many countries still maintain COVID-19-related travel restrictions or bans that can affect your ability to travel or obtain a U.S. visa from an embassy or consulate. Stay up-to-date with the latest restrictions and requirements for the countries you plan to visit or transit through by referring to the CDC’s International Travel page here.

The U.S. requires all foreign air travelers to provide proof of full vaccination before boarding their flight. Ensure that you have the necessary documentation to meet this requirement, available on the CDC’s International Travel page.

Step 5: Obtain Your I-94 Admissions Record

Upon your return to the U.S., it is your responsibility to promptly obtain a copy of your I-94 admissions record, which governs your authorized period of stay in the country. You can do so through The “Admit Until Date” on your I-94 should align with the expiration date on your visa stamp or I-797 approval notice. If there is any disparity, contact your Zulkie Partners team.

Please note that travel regulations and requirements may change, so it is essential to stay updated with the latest information from relevant authorities and your legal counsel. Feel free to reach out to Zulkie Partners with any questions or concerns.

Best wishes for safe and hassle-free travels this holiday season!