Border Restrictions in the United States to be Extended Indefinitely

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has amended and extended a rule that allows the Trump administration to extend border restrictions for an indefinite length of time. The rule, effective May 19, is officially known as the “Amendment and Extension of Order Suspending Introduction of Certain Persons from Countries Where a Communicable Disease Exists.” The original order was issued on March 20, and then was first extended on April 20.

What are the Specific Areas that the Order Covers?

The order’s amendment is to clarify the areas that are covered by the order. Specifically, the order applies to U.S. Customs and Border Protection managed areas and installations including:

What is the Duration of the Order Implementing Border Restrictions?

As written, the duration of the order will depend on the determination of the Director of the CDC, Robert R. Redfield, MD, as to the following:

  1. The Director determines the danger of further introduction of COVID-19 into the US Is no longer a danger to public health
  2. The continuation of the order for border restrictions is no longer necessary to protect the public health

Who does the Order Apply to?

The order’s wording is specific, and states that it applies to all persons travelling from Canada or Mexico, regardless of the country of origin. This is an important point that greatly expands the range of the order and its impact on travel and immigration. A significant number of expulsions have been occurring at the border since the first order was put into place.

Are there Exceptions to the Order?

There are a few exceptions to the order for border restrictions. Certain persons will be able to pass through a POE or a Border Patrol Station. However, the U.S. Department of State has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory: Do Not Travel guidance. In general, people should avoid unnecessary travel. The exceptions to the order include:

  • U.S. Citizens
  • Lawful permanent residents, their spouses, and children
  • S. members of the armed forces, their spouses, and children
  • Associated personnel of the armed forces, their spouses, and children
  • Persons from foreign countries:
    • With valid travel documents arriving at a POE
    • In the visa waiver program, not subject to travel restrictions, arriving at a POE
  • Persons determined by customs officers to be excepted on a case-by-case basis subject to overall circumstances such as interests related to:
    • Law enforcement
    • Officer and public safety
    • Humanitarian
    • Public health

Ultimately, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will consult with the CDC to determine how to approach these case-by-case exceptions to ensure consistency.

What Should Employers do About Border Restrictions?

Companies should continue to stay informed about U.S. border restrictions. These restrictions may have a significant impact on an employer’s ability to recruit and hire foreign talent. As a result, knowing what to expect can help companies determine how to leverage strategic resources and respond accordingly to meet corporate objectives.

Companies should also work with a knowledgeable and experienced Relocation Management Company (RMC). RMCs can help companies design a robust talent acquisition program. Also, RMCs can help a company design an industry-leading relocation program that will give them a competitive advantage in the global market for highly skilled employees.


GMS’ team of global relocation experts has helped thousands of our clients understand how to respond effectively to issues regarding travel and immigration. As a result, our team can help your company understand how to develop plans to mitigate the impact of US border restrictions.

GMS was the first relocation company to register as a .com. The company also created the first online interactive tools and calculators, and revolutionized the entire relocation industry. GMS continues to set the industry pace as the pioneer in innovation and technology solutions with its proprietary MyRelocation® technology platform.

Contact our experts online to discuss your company’s interest in learning more about the US border restrictions and their impact on travel and immigration, or give us a call at 800.617.1904 or 480.922.0700 today.

Request your complimentary Visa Program Assessment