Travel and Immigration Information

Travel and Immigration - State Department Information

Information for Travelers Returning to the United States

The State Department has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory for all citizens travelling abroad. U.S. citizens should make arrangements to travel back to the United States immediately, or prepare to shelter in place. Additional information about travel advisories can be found here.

The State Department is encouraging all citizens abroad to register for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive information about their destinations, updates about travel restrictions, and flights to the United States. The STEP program can be found here or using the portal below:

Additionally, the State Department has created a 24-hour hotline to address travel restrictions. Citizens abroad are encouraged to call the hotline to notify the State Department of their current status and to assist in arranging a flight home. The hotline may be reach at the following numbers:

  • Callers located in the U.S. and Canada: 1-888-407-4747
  • Callers located overseas: 1-202-501-4444

Finally, the State Department is advising citizens abroad to contact their closest American consulate for additional information.

CDC guidance for travelers can be found here.

Northern and Southern Land Borders

The United States borders to Canada and Mexico have been temporarily closed to all non-essential travel (i.e., tourism or recreational in nature). The borders will remain open for individuals crossing the borders for work, necessary medical care, or official business. Moreover, the trade and the shipment of goods will continue across the borders.

Additional information about the closing of the land borders can be found here.

Travel and Immigration - Information for travelers returning to the US

CDC provides recommendations on postponing or canceling travel. These are called travel notices and are based on assessment of the potential health risks involved with traveling to a certain area. A list of destinations with travel notices is available here or down below:

Information for Travelers Returning to the U.S.

  • The COVID-19 travel restrictions will not prevent U.S. citizens from returning from Europe.
  • Upon re-entry they will be required to travel through one of the 11 select airports (listed below), where they will be inspected by CBP where they may be referred to CDC for additional screening.
  • CDC will then make a medical determination regarding further steps.
  • If the screening tests positive for COVID-19, they will be sent to a DOD quarantine facility.
  • If the screening tests are negative, they will be strongly encouraged to self-isolate for 14 days when they return home in the interests of public health.

 Below are the airports:

  • John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), New York;
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), Illinois;
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO), California;
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA), Washington; 
  • Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), Hawaii; 
  • Los Angeles International Airport, (LAX), California; 
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Georgia;
  • Washington-Dulles International Airport (IAD), Virginia;
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), New Jersey;
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Texas; and
  • Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW), Michigan.

Immigrant Rights Hotline: 1-833-HOU-IMMI (468-4664)

The Immigrant Rights Hotline is a source of timely and accurate information about changing immigration policies, a place to report discrimination and racial profiling, and a source for referrals to legal services providers and immigrant rights organizers. The hotline is staffed by non-profit staff and DOJ accredited representatives. Callers can get assistance Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (except holidays).

Callers can get help with:

  • General questions about current immigration laws, rules, and regulations
  • Rights immigrants have regarding their legal status and immigration enforcement
  • Finding immigration legal services from a non-profit organization or attorney
  • Reporting ICE enforcement activities
  • Locating and getting legal assistance for people who have been detained
  • Reports of hate incidents or discrimination
  • Making referrals to the Deportation Defense Houston team, which provides free representation to detained adults in Houston area ICE facilities

The Hotline is a project of the Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative, Boat People SOS, BakerRipley, United We Dream, Houston Volunteer Lawyers, and The ACLU of Texas.