U.S. pet entry restrictions due to rabies outbreaks

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on June 14, 2021 that pets from countries the agency considers at risk will be restricted from entering the U.S. due to rabies outbreaks, beginning effective July 14, 2021. At this time, there is no expectation that these restrictions will be lifted. This suspension also applies to pets living outside countries that are considered at risk by the CDC. But if they have passed through these countries in the last 6 months, they will be denied entry. This rule also applies to puppies, emotional support animals and service animals.

The types of pets that are listed in the CDC:

Dogs, Cats, Rabbits, Birds, Reptiles, Amphibians and Rodents.

Countries considered high risk by the CDC:

  • Belize.
  • Bolivia.
  • Brazil.
  • Colombia.
  • Cuba.
  • Dominican Republic.
  • Ecuador.
  • El Salvador.
  • Guatemala.
  • Guyana.
  • Haiti.
  • Honduras.
  • Nicaragua.
  • Peru.
  • Surinam.
  • Venezuela.

However, tourists may be able to bring their pets into the U.S. if they follow these guidelines:

You must request a prior written approval, which will be sent to the CDC. To request prior written approval, you must follow the CDC’s dog import license instructions and send an email to CDCanimalimports@cdc.gov at least 30 business days (6 weeks) prior to your intent to enter the United States. Applications cannot be made at the port of entry upon arrival in the United States. Dogs arriving from high-risk countries without prior written approval from the CDC will be denied entry and returned to the country of departure at the passenger’s expense.

Important: All animals must be vaccinated with the rabies vaccine.

Written by Yuri Pio, Visa Team Intern at Drummond Advisors