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Canadian snowbirds worry over US land border closure

On Behalf of | Oct 7, 2021 | Immigration

Fall has arrived, and winter is just around the corner. Canadian snowbirds are planning their southbound trips with increased interest this year. Snowbirds typically flock to California, Florida, Texas and Arizona in October. They usually stay until they head back to their Canadian homes in April. Right now, they can travel to the United States by air only. 

Travel outside of Canada is in high demand among Canadians, especially to the United States. However, at least until Oct. 21, Canadians will be unable to cross the land border, as the closure has been in effect since March 2020. It makes driving south to sunny U.S. destinations difficult for those hoping to escape the harsh cold of Canadian winters. 

Air travel vs. land border crossing

Vaccinated Americans were permitted to cross Canada’s land borders back in August. Among the snowbirds’ concerns is that they cannot drive their own vehicles south, but joining 300 others in a plane is deemed safe. If they are not able to drive their own vehicles, car rentals could make it a costly endeavour. 

At this time, there are no vaccination requirements for air travelers entering the United States. Beginning in November, every passenger entering the United States will have to show proof of a negative test performed 72 hours before boarding and proof of full vaccination. That gives rise to another concern. 

AstraZeneca concerns

Many Canadians were vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine, which the United States has not approved. Canadians are concerned about the U.S. customs officers declining entry to passengers showing proof of AstraZeneca vaccinations. With many uncertainties about travelling to warmer U.S. destinations, snowbirds can seek answers and advice from immigration professionals to avoid unanticipated delays.  

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