Pet Immigration - United States (except Hawaii)
Regulations for taking a pet dog or cat to the United
States (not including Hawaii - see
regulations for taking a pet to Hawaii)
United States does not quarantine healthy pets who meet the following requirements:
- Your dog must be vaccinated for rabies and various other diseases at
least 30 days prior to entering the United States unless your pet is
entering from a country the US considers as rabies free. (see
below for list of countries) Effective August 11, 2014, all
requests to import an unvaccinated dog must be approved in
advance. Rabies vaccinations for cats are
not required to enter the country, but requirements are subject
to State and Local ordinances.
- A licensed veterinarian must complete and sign a veterinary certificate. This certificate should be in English or be accompanied by a
translation in English. It should identify the animal, the dates
of vaccination, the manufacturer and the expiration date of the rabies vaccine.
The United States does accept 3 year rabies vaccinations.
- If you cannot travel with your pet, it will be transported as manifest cargo and will need
a health certificate issued within 10 days of travel.
Your airlines may also require a health certificate even if your pet
is traveling with you in the cabin or as checked baggage.
- If your pet is a dog and you are entering the United States from a country known to be infected with screwworm (see countries listed below), then, not more than five days prior to entering the United States, the veterinarian in the country of origin must endorse that your pet has been inspected for screwworm, and the results are negative. If this is not done, then your pet will be quarantined upon arrival in the United States.
This completes a pet passport for your dog or cat to enter the United States.
All domestic dogs and cats must be free of evidence of disease communicable to humans when examined at the port of entry. If the animal is not in apparent good health, further examination by a licensed veterinarian may be required at the owner's expense.
Failure to comply with these regulations will mean that your pet will be refused entry or returned to the country of origin or placed in quarantine, all at the expense of the person responsible for your pet.Puppies: Unvaccinated puppies entering the United States with their owner and are not intended for resale or rehoming are permitted entry to the US if they are pre-approved for home confinement by the Center for Disease Control.
If a puppy, including hybrid cross, is intended for resale** or rehoming in the United States, the movement is considered commercial, then the minimum age for a puppy to enter the country would be 6 months of age regardless of the originating country. This includes puppies being imported from Puerto Rico and all US territories. An exception would be puppies being imported for veterinary treatment that is unavailable in the originating country or puppies being used for research purposes. Puppies will also be required to have all DHLPP shots and an import permit prior to entering. This requirement will go into effect on November 17, 2014.
**Puppies imported for resale are those which are imported for sale in wholesale or retail channels or adoption, in which any transfer of ownersuip or control of the puppy to another person for more than "de minimis" (insignificant) consideration.
The rabies vaccination requirement does not apply to dogs residing in the following countries for at least six months prior to transport. Once arriving in the US, these dogs are subject to State and Local ordinances.
Countries considered by the US as rabies free: Albania, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Austria, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bermuda, Cape Verde, Cayman Islands, Cook Islands, Corsica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Fiji, Finland, France, French Polynesia, Gibraltar, Guadeloupe, Guam, Germany, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Jamaica, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg Malaysia (Sabah only), Martinique, Mauritius, Micronesia, Miquelon, Monaco, Montserrat, Netherland Antilles, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Northern Mariana Islands, Norway (except Svalbard), Palau, Papua New Guinea, Portugal, Qatar, RÃ©union, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, SÃ£o TomÃ© and PrÃncipe, Saint Pierre, Samoa, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (except Ceuta and Melilla), Sweden, Switzerland, Turks and Caicos, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Vanuatu, Virgin Islands (US and British)
Returning to the US: Pets transported out of the United States and returned are subject to the same passport requirements as those entering for the first time. This means that residents returning to the United States might need to get a Certificate of Health from a vet in the country you are visiting if you stay for more than 30 days.
Hawaii & Guam: Dogs and Cats arriving in
Guam, both countries
which are free of rabies, are subject to that state's/ territory's
quarantine requirements, and the passport information here does NOT
Countries that the United States considers are infested with screwworm: Angola, Argentina, Bhrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, China, Colombia, Congo, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, French Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Easter Island (Isla de Pascua), Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Kenya, Kuwait, Laos, Lesotho, Liberia, Macau, Malawi, Malaysia, Maui, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nigeria, Oman, Pacific Islands, Papua New Guinea, Paraacel Islands, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Spratly Islands, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zaire, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Birds: Birds will be quarantined upon arrival for 30 days. Until further notice, the USDA bans the importation of all live avian species from Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cambodia, Djibouti, Egypt, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Ivory Coast (CÃ´te d'Ivoire), Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, People's Republic of China, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, South Sudan, Sudan, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam.
Other Animals: (birds, invertebrates, tropical fish, reptiles, amphibia, mammals such as rodents and rabbits) are not subject to requirements of rabies vaccination, but may have to meet other requirements and should have a health certificate to enter the United States. Pet owners are strongly advised to seek further information from the relevant authority of their country and/or that of the country of destination.
If your pet is not a dog, cat or ferret, and especially if it is a turtle or parrot, you should verify that it is not protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITIES). You will need to apply for additional permits if this is the case. Search their database. Over 180 countries participate and enforce CITIES regulations. Read more about CITIES.
All countries have unique veterinary certificates. This form
may differ from the veterinary certificate issued by
veterinarians in the United States. (APHIS 7001) It is an essential part of the cat or dog passport.
Pet Microchip: Although the United States does not require an ISO pet microchip, we strongly suggest microchipping your pet prior to traveling.
Additional Pet Transport Information
Why is a pet passport important for transporting a pet to the United
Am I transporting my dog or cat to the United States from a rabies free country?
Great Tips for Transporting a Pet by Air to the United States
Need equipment for traveling with your pet? Find it all at PetTravelStore.com.
The information published here is a guideline for pet owners importing their pet to the United States. Further detail on import permits (if applicable), costs, tests and procedures are available at minimal cost at PetTravelStore.com if you need them. We also stock all the equipment and accessories you will need for traveling with your pet. Same day shipping until 4:00 PM EST.GOT QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS??? You can post them directly to our Facebook page, blog, forum or just enter them below. We will respond as soon as we can.