I am a US citizen, my husband is a German citizen and we live in Germany. I am going home in August to visit family, and then he was going to come in September and stay for 3 weeks. We have both been fully vaccinated and have all the paperwork to prove we're married. My question is, can he travel on his own and the relevant marriage paper work be enough to get him into the country, or is he only allowed in if I (the US citizen) am with him? Thanks for your help!

  • The rules for non US citizens, who are not resident in the US and are traveling from the Schengen Area for a visit, are not yet clear. When again allowed, an ESTA will be requird as before. I don't believe the marrage status has any effect for visits. Commented Jul 14, 2021 at 11:28
  • 3
    @MarkJohnson I must be missing something? What isn’t clear? Spouses of US citizens are exempted from the travel ban, whatever the residency status of either spouse.
    – jcaron
    Commented Jul 14, 2021 at 13:01
  • @jcaron Yes, that seems to be the case (didn't turn up when I looked beforhand) COVID-19 Travel Restrictions and Exceptions: spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents; Commented Jul 14, 2021 at 13:12
  • 2
    @jcaron you're not missing anything. Spouses are exempt; this has been clear for some time. But using ESTA without prior arrangement will lead to the ESTA being cancelled, so there is indeed some cause for concern here.
    – phoog
    Commented Jul 14, 2021 at 13:14
  • Wait, is there still a blanket travel ban on people coming from Europe? I thought Trump mainly did that because of his typical "foreign things bad" stance, not because preventing travel from Europe in particular was actually very helping at slowing the pandemic. I certainly did not expect it to continue under Biden, particularly with all the vaccines and reliable tests that are available now and after the US overtook Europe in cases per capita. I thought perhaps because of the UK variant, but that is already widespread in the US, and new variants can arise anywhere.
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Jul 15, 2021 at 8:20

2 Answers 2


According to the relevant Presidential Proclamation:

(a) Section 1 of this proclamation shall not apply to:


(iii) any noncitizen who is the spouse of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident;

There is no condition of residence or simultaneous travel.

Your husband will still require an ESTA (or other visa), and should have the required paperwork. Not sure exactly what paperwork, though, but I suppose some kind of proof of marriage + a copy of your US passport should do.

Note that I believe you will both need a recent negative PCR test even if fully vaccinated.


Please make sure he carries a copy of your wedding certificate and probably a copy of your passport. We ran into problems with my Swedish wife when we were boarding the plane in Zurich (layover airport). It ended up being a mad scramble to get someone to our house so we could prove we were married.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .