Travel Vaccine Certificates, Passports, Visas

Authored by
Staff
Last reviewed
January 11, 2023

Travel Vaccine Certificates, Advisories, Passports, and Apps

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publishes Travel Health Notices to inform international travelers about current health issues, disease outbreaks, special events or gatherings, and natural disasters worldwide. In addition, view travel requirements for countries updated by Sherpa. Choose a country on this map to begin your search.

And the U.S. Department of State publishes information for visa and passport applications and for countries to help travelers assess their risks. If Americans are overseas and need emergency assistance, they should contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate, says the State Department. From Overseas, call +1 202-501-4444. Updated FAQs about U.S. passport and visa operations are found on this State Department webpage

International Certificates of Vaccination or Prophylaxis

The International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) is known internationally as the yellow card. On November 19, 2022, the World Health Organization published an updated Country List to identify which countries require an ICVP to enter.

REAL ID Act

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on December 2022 it's intent to extend the REAL ID full enforcement date by 24 months, from May 3, 2023, to May 7, 2025. The REAL ID Act establishes minimum security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards. Under the new regulations, beginning May 7, 2025, every traveler 18 years of age or older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver's license or identification card, state-issued enhanced driver's license, or another TSA-acceptable form of identification at airport security checkpoints for domestic air travel. 

All 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and four of five U.S. territories covered by the REAL ID Act and related regulations are issuing REAL ID-compliant driver's licenses and identification cards.

Transportation Security Administration

And the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Strategy and its supporting Administrator’s Intent and Roadmaps align with Departmental and National strategies and plans, such as the National Security Strategy, National Strategy for Transportation Security, National Strategy for Aviation Security, and the Department of Homeland Security Strategic Plan. Furthermore, the TSA reserves the right to issue a civil penalty to travelers who bring weapons to a security checkpoint.

Airlines and aircraft operators must confirm that any Covered Individual claiming this exception has an official U.S. Government letter (paper or digital) documenting approval of the exception, says the U.S. CDC.

The TSA also reveals airport screening activity and empowers travelers can take advantage of facial biometrics. In addition, U.S. travelers must be REAL ID compliant to board domestic flights and access certain federal facilities on May 3, 2023.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

If you are a U.S. citizen planning to travel abroad, you must comply with the document requirements for that country. And each individual arriving in the U.S. must complete the CBP Declaration Form 6059B. Examples and a sample declaration form can be found on the Customs Declaration Form.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection CBP One™ app is a single portal for mobile applications and services. 

As a result of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) travel promotion fee was increased from $10 to $17, in addition to a $4 operationcostfee. CBP began collecting the new fee amount on May 26, 2022. Individuals with an approved ESTA do not have to re-apply, as an ESTA is valid for up to two years.

ESTA is an automated system that determines the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Authorization via ESTA does not determine whether a traveler is admissible to the United States. Instead, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers determine admissibility upon travelers' arrival.

Global Entry Program

Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the USA. Members enter through automatic kiosks at select airports.

The Enrollment on Arrival (EoA) program allows Global Entry applicants who are conditionally approved to complete their interviews upon arrival in the USA. A list of participating EoA airports is posted on this webpage.

While Global EEntry aims to speed travelers through the process, members may still be selected for further examination when entering the USA.

Airline Compensation Policies

Issued by the U.S. DOT on August 29, 2022, a digital dashboard ensures the traveling public has access to services that U.S. airlines provide to mitigate passenger inconveniences when the cause of a cancellation or delay was due to circumstances within the airline's control.

Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative

The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) is the joint U.S. Department f State and Department of Homeland Security plan to implement a key 9/11 Commission recommendation and the statutory mandates of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004. As a result, U.S. citizens can present a valid: U.S. Passport; Trusted Traveler Program card (NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST); U.S. Military identification card when traveling on official orders; U.S. Merchant Mariner Document when traveling in conjunction with official maritime business.

Note that children must also present their passports when traveling by air. And lawful permanent residents must continue to present a valid Permanent Resident Card. A passport is not required. However, the Indian/tribal card can NOT be used for air travel.

Hajj and Umrah Entry

The Saudi Ministry of Health established vaccine requirements for visitors to obtain an Entry Visa for Hajj 2023 and Umrah in 2022. 

Pet Passport and Tips For 2022

An E.U. Pet Passport is a universal document issued by an official veterinarian in the European Union (E.U.) Member State or other designated country contains official health information related to a specific pet. The passport is designed to be issued to a dog, cat, or ferret once it's first taken to an E.U. veterinarian and vaccinated. The purpose of the E.U. Pet Passport is to simplify travel between the E.U. Member States. An E.U. Pet Passport cannot be obtained in the U.S.

On December 14, 2022, the TSA offered tips for traveling with small pets through security checkpoints this holiday season.

Furthermore, the USDA has requirements for importing pet dogs from foreign countries. In particular, dogs traveling to the U.S. from countries affected by specific diseases may need additional inspection and/or quarantine. Use this digital menu to determine if your destination State has particular import requirements.