Update on the Reopening of Travel to the USA

UPDATED on January 20, 2022

Effective December 6, 2021 all travelers, whether they’re vaccinated or not, must present a negative Covid-19 test to their airline before traveling to the U.S. The test must be taken no more than one calendar day before your flight. The test must be either PCR or antigen. You can use a self-test but it must adhere to the CDC’s guidelines.

Please read carefully the information sent from the Department of State: 

All J-1 exchange visitor applicants (age 18 or older at the time of travel) will be required to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of vaccination status prior to boarding an airplane to fly to the United States.

  • Only those travelers with vaccinations approved by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)/U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and/or the World Health Organization (WHO) will be allowed to enter the U.S. Below is a list of currently approved vaccines. As information changes often, please check the CDC website for the latest information on approved vaccines: Requirement for Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination for Air Passengers | CDC
Vaccination Name  Approved by 
Pfizer-BioNTech (2-dose series) CDC/FDA, WHO 
Moderna (2-dose series) CDC/FDA, WHO 
Janssen / Johnson & Johnson (single dose) CDC/FDA, WHO 
AstraZeneca (2-dose series) WHO 
Covishield (2-dose series) WHO 
Sinovac (2-dose series) WHO 
BIBP/Sinopharm (2-dose series) WHO 



  • Travelers will be required to provide proof of vaccination. 
    • Documents listed as acceptable for proof of vaccination.  
    • All forms of proof of COVID-19 vaccination must have:
      • Full name and date of birth that match the personal information on the traveler’s passport or other travel documents
      • Name of official source issuing the record as the authorized vaccine provider
      • Vaccine manufacturer and date(s) of vaccination
    • The last dose must have been given a full 14 days before the day boarding the flight to the United States. You are considered fully vaccinated on the 14th day after the vaccination series was completed.
  • Fully vaccinated air travelers will continue to be required to show documentation of a pre-departure negative viral test from a sample taken within *THREE (3) days* of travel to the United States before boarding the plane. Get tested no more than 3 days before your flight to the USA departs. Make sure to be tested with a viral test (NAAT or antigen test) to determine if you are currently infected with COVID-19. Also make sure that you receive your results before your flight departs and have documentation of your results to show the airline. Please check for COVID-19 test requirements with your specific airline once your ticket is secured.   

* As noted above, there are limited exceptions for J-1 exchange visitors. This includes:

People with these exceptions will now need to show documentation of a negative viral test from a sample taken within *ONE* day of travel to the United States.


Additional information:


Greenheart received this Department of State guidance on interview waivers (January 20, 2022): 

“All J applicants must present a new Form DS-2019 when applying for a visa, even if they are reapplying for the same category the following year.  The Department has removed the requirement for J applicants to have the same SEVIS number in order to qualify for the 48-month interview waiver.  As a result, applicants who have been issued a J visa in the past 48 months may potentially qualify for an interview waiver if they are again applying for a new J visa. 

Consular resources and local government restrictions vary widely, and each consular section is continuously reviewing its capacity to adjudicate visa applications during this worldwide pandemic and as we address global issues and competing priorities.  We encourage applicants to check the website of the relevant U.S. embassy or consulate to confirm the level of services currently offered and to find guidelines for applying for a J visa without an interview.”

Greenheart will update this page with information as we learn it. Greenheart follows the U.S. government regulations with regards to vaccination, thus recommends that everyone gets vaccinated when they are able to.  

Thank you.

Greenheart Exchange