written on behalf of Feigenbaum Law
At Feigenbaum Law, we represent clients who have cross-border business or tax and estate interests. As such, many of our clients spend a considerable amount of time traveling between the United States and Canada. Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, cross-border travel was all but shut down for all non-essential travel, leaving many of our clients and others unable to move freely between the two countries. Good news came this week as it was announced that the land border between the United States and Canada would re-open. We wanted to take some time this week to dive into what that means for both Canadians and Americans.
The road to re-opening the border
Starting in August, the United States government announced plans to start re-opening itself to visitors from outside of the country. Initial plans required for travelers to be vaccinated and be subject to testing once they arrived in the United States. At the same time, Canada announced that it was going to be easing border restrictions and as of August 9, 2021 would allow American citizens and permanent residents to enter Canada if they have been fully vaccinated for at least two weeks. At the time, the United States did not allow Canadians to enter if their vaccination included a mix of two vaccines (specifically, AstraZeneca or a mix of AstraZeneca with mRNA, or a mix of Pfizer or Moderna). This was problematic for many Canadians since Canada did recognize those vaccines. Additionally, at the time, the United States land border was not yet open. However, that is set to change.
Land border between Canada and the United States will open in November
Last week it was widely reported that the United States planned to reopen the land border with Canada. The government said it was targeting a November reopening. This comes as good news to many Canadians who until now have had to fly to the United States; something that can be cost or logistically prohibitive for many people.
What about the vaccination status of Canadians?
While the reopening of the border provides cause for many Canadians to celebrate, questions still remain about whether those who have received vaccines not recognized by the Unites States will be allowed.
A story published by the CBC stated that at this time, the United States will still require travelers to be fully vaccinated. Presently, the United States still does not recognize mixed COVID-19 vaccines, including those that Canada recognizes and continues to administer. The story reports that millions of Canadians have received mixed vaccines.
There is some hope, however. The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said it “will release additional guidance and information as the travel requirements are finalized later this month.” Additionally, the US government has been studying the effectiveness of mixed vaccines in the context of booster shots.” While this comment doesn’t speak directly to those who have mixed doses for their initial vaccines, some are hopeful that the same study will be applied to the effectiveness of vaccines.
Some Canadians told CBC that they have two different vaccines for their first two shots, but are looking to get a third shot in order to qualify for admittance to the United States.
At Feigenbaum Law, we will continue to closely monitor this story and will provide updates on what Canadians can expect in terms of what impact their vaccination status will have on their ability to enter the United States. Until then, we can only hope that the long border between the United States and Canada becomes as open as we have become accustomed to.
Feigenbaum Law can help you with cross-border tax and business needs
Whether you run a business on both sides of the US-Canada border or are involved in cross-border estate planning, the experienced team at Feigenbaum Law can help. Our team will create a personalized approach and walk you through all aspects of the process, saving you money and potential complications. We offer services to clients in the US, Canada and around the world. Contact us online or call us at (416) 777-8433 or toll free at (877) 275-4792.