United States Pet Passport & Import Regulations (excluding Guam & Hawaii)
These regulations do NOT include the State of Hawaii or Guam. Regulations to import a dog or cat to Hawaii or import a dog or cat to Guam. Unless otherwise stated, the regulations below apply to domestic dogs, cats and ferrets. Owners of other pets should refer to item 13.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has additional requirements the import of dogs from the following high-rabies
countries. Dogs who have resided in, visited or entered the following countries within 6 months of import are also affected by this suspension. All pet owners wishing
to import their dog from these high rabies countries to the United States are not subject to these requirements if
they meet the following qualifications:
Has a rabies certificate* proving a current rabies vaccination administered by a licensed veterinarian in the United States.
Has proof of a microchip listed on the rabies certificate.
Is at least 6 months old.
Is healthy upon arrival.
Enters the United States at an approved point of entry (see below).
UPDATE: *Effective March 1, 2023, all dogs entering the United States from high-rabies countries with a rabies vaccination that was administered in the origination country must have a completed Rabies Vaccination and Microchip Record.
This legislation includes dogs who have resided in, visited, or cleared customs and entered such a country within 6 months of import.
Dogs intending to enter the US from these countries that do not meet the above criteria can either apply for an import permit or
enter the United States at an airport that has approved quarantine facilities (MIA, LAX, JFK, ATL, IAD). If a valid rabies titer test is available, then
quarantine will not be imposed on healthy dogs. If the titer test is invalid or no titer test is available, then a 28 day quarantine will be imposed.
These requirements have been extended to July 31, 2024.
How to get a pet passport to import your dog, cat or other animal to the United States in 7 Steps
Pet passports (except EU Pet Passports) are simply the collection of documents required to import your pet to a specific country.
Step #1 - Export Requirements
Research export requirements for your origination country. Ask your veterinarian or Ministry of Agriculture. You can also find export requirements for many countries here.
Step #2 - Proof of rabies vaccination
Determine if the United States will require a rabies certificate for your pet to clear customs. Proof of rabies vaccination are required to import your pet to the United States from many countries.
Step #3 - Screwworm Inspection
Determine if you are originating in a screwworm-infected country in which case a screwworm inspection is required.
Step #4 - Import Permit
Determine if an import permit is required to import your dog when unaccompanied.
Step #5 - Veterinary Health Certificate
Visit your veterinarian to issue a pet health certificate for the United States.
Step #6 - Requirements to Import a Puppy
Determine requirements for importing a puppy to the United States.
Step #7 - Requirements to Return Home
Determine requirements to re-import your pet to your originating country. Find Regulations to re-import your pet to over 220 countries.
Information on Importing a Pet to the United States
The United States does not require that your pet be identified with a pet microchip unless your pet is entering the United States under one of the following conditions:
- Your pet is entering the United States from a high-rabies country.
- Your dog is entering the United States for commercial reasons (resale, adoption, etc.).
- Your dog is entering the United States from a country identified as having African Swine Fever (see step 5)
If your dog is entering the United States from a country the US considers as a high risk of rabies (Click here for high-rabies countries), your dog will need valid rabies certificate* proving current rabies vaccination. Dogs that have never been vaccinated against rabies must be vaccinated at least 28 days prior to arrival.
*Effective March 1, 2023, a completed Rabies Vaccination and Microchip Record will be required for
dogs with current rabies vaccinations administered in a high-rabies country who are entering the United States. Foreign-issued
vaccination booklets or rabies certificates will not be accepted.
The Rabies Vaccination and Microchip Record is not required for dogs returning to the United States from non-high-rabies countries; however, it is recommended.
If your dog is entering the United States from a country that does not require a rabies vaccination, you must provide proof that it has lived in the origin country at least 6 months or since birth.
If your dog is over 15 months of age and you can provide rabies history that your dog has been vaccinated on or after 3 months of age and all boosters were administered before the previous vaccination expired, your dog does not need to wait 28 days after their last rabies vaccination.
The United States does accept 3 year rabies vaccinations. If the expiration date of the vaccination is not shown on the health certificate, then the date of vaccination must be less than 12 months prior to entry to the United States.
All requests to import an unvaccinated dog must be approved at least 10 business days in advance. Permits will only be given only to US residents and visitors staying 30 days or more in the United States.
Dogs being imported for commercial resale or adoption must also be vaccinated for rabies and distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza virus (DHLPP). See step 10 for more information.
Rabies vaccinations for cats are not required to enter the country, but requirements may be subject to State and local ordinances.
Rabies Titer Test (FAVN)
A rabies titer test is required to enter the United States from all high-rabies countries to avoid quarantine. If a valid rabies titer test administered at least 45 days before travel is not available, your pet will need to enter an Animal Quarantine Facility in an approved port of entry.
Screwworm Inspection - Dogs Only
Before your dog can enter the United States from the following countries, it must be inspected for certain screwworms within five days prior to entering the United States. Your veterinarian must verify that your pet has been inspected for screwworm, and the results are negative.
Screwworm Countries: Angola, Argentina, Aruba, Bhrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, China, Colombia, Congo (Democratic Republic of), Congo, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic, Dominican Republic, Easter Island, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, French Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Kenya, Kuwait, Laos, Lesotho, Liberia, Macau, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nigeria, Oman, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paracel Islands, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Spratly Islands, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Swaziland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
African Swine Flu - Dogs Only COMMERCIAL RESALE
Additional requirements will apply to dogs entering the US for commercial resale from the following countries identified for African Swine Fever:
Continent of Africa, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bhutan, Kingdom of Brazil, excluding the State of Santa Catarina, Burma (aka Myanmar), Cambodia China, People’s Republic of, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Georgia, Haiti, Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China), India, Indonesia (Republic of), Korea, Democratic People's Republic of, Korea, Republic of, Kosovo, Laos, Malaysia, Mauritius, Moldova, Mongolia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, Ukraine, and Vietnam.
Additionally, any restricted zone in the European Union (EU) established by the EU or any EU Member State because of detection of African swine fever in domestic or feral swine is affected by these requirements.
- The dog and their crate must be free of dirt, wood shavings, hay, straw, or any other organic or natural bedding material.
- All bedding that accompanies the dog during transit must be properly disposed of at the U.S. port of entry.
- Each dog must have an ISO-compliant microchip implanted, and the individual microchip number must be verified immediately before each dog is bathed.
- Each dog must be bathed at the U.S. port of entry within 2 calendar days of arrival in the United States. Bathing must be documented in the Veterinary Services Dog Import Record.
Tapeworm Treatment - Dogs Only
Collies, shepherds, and other dogs to be used in the handling of livestock and that are imported from any part of the world except Canada, Mexico, and regions of Central America and the West Indies must have a tapeworm treatment administered by a licensed veterinarian shortly prior to entry to the United States and are subject to inspection and quarantine.
Effective July, 2021, all DOGS entering the United States from countries classified as high-rabies without a current rabies vaccination administered by a US-based veterinarian must either apply for an import permit or enter the US at an airport with a government quarantine facility (see above). If an import permit is secured, your dog can enter the US without quarantine.
All dogs being imported to the United States for commercial resale or adoption must have an import permit issued by the United States Department of Agriculture. See step 10 for more information.
An import permit will be required for many live animals including birds entering Alaska from Canada via a land border port. Cats and dogs are not included in this requirement; however, they will need a health certificate with a traceable number. Forms downloaded from the Internet will not be accepted.
Pet Health Certificate
A licensed veterinarian must complete and sign a pet health certificate. This certificate should be in English or be accompanied by a version translated in English. It should identify the animal, the dates of vaccination, the manufacturer and the expiration date of the rabies vaccine.
For pets entering Alaska from the United States mainland: the APHIS 7001 form will only be accepted if it has a unique and trackable identification number. A certificate number must be printed on the form. This form cannot be downloaded from the Internet.
Countries that require a rabies vaccination for dogs
Dogs entering the United States from these high-rabies countries will require a rabies certificate and should be vaccinated for rabies no sooner than 3 months of age and wait for 28 days before entering the United States. To avoid quarantine or when applying for an import permit, dogs should also have a rabies titer test 30 days after their rabies vaccination and more than 45 days prior to import.
Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burma (Myanmar), Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Colombia, Comoros, Côte D'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Croatia, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, French Guiana, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan,Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Russia, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania (including Zanzibar), Thailand, Timor-Leste (East Timor), Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Western Sahara, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Entering the United States by Air
Pets from countries that the United States recognize as rabies free can enter the United States at international airports in many cities including but not limited to New York, Chicago, Washington DC, Atlanta, Miami, Houston, Los Angeles, Portland Seattle and Chicago.
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.
All pets entering the United States unaccompanied as air cargo must be claimed by someone with US legal resident status or a citizen of the US and must have a valid US address.
It is strongly advised that dog owners importing more than 5 dogs owned personally by them via air cargo contact the CDC to avoid having the import be classified as commercial.
All interstate transports where a health certificate is required should use a multi-copy health certificate with a tracking number or the veterinarian must file the certificate electronically. Currently, this requirement primarily applies to airline travel.
Puppies and Kittens
Kittens are not required to be vaccinated for rabies to enter the US, however, they should travel with a recent health certificate and can be subject to State requirements which is why rabies vaccination is recommended.
Non-Commercial Import of Puppies
Puppies entering the United States for non-commercial reasons from all countries not listed in step #7 must be vaccinated for rabies at 3 months of age and wait for 28 days before entering the country. In certain cases, pre-approval for home quarantine can be obtained from the Center for Disease Control for unvaccinated puppies entering from non-rabies-free countries. See step 2 for more information.
Proof of age should be available.
Commercial Import of Dogs and Puppies
Puppies and dogs entering the United States intended for resale* or adoption must be 6 months of age and may not enter the United States from any country until fully vaccinated (rabies and distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza virus (DHLPP) and accompanied with an import permit.
This includes dogs being imported from Puerto Rico and all US territories. An exception would be dogs being imported for veterinary treatment that is unavailable in the originating country or dogs being imported for research purposes.
*The term “dogs imported for resale” includes dogs imported for sale in wholesale channels, at retail, and for adoption after arrival in the United States, as well as dogs imported for other purposes involving transfer of ownership or control of the dog to another person for more than de minimis consideration after the dog's arrival in the United States.
This rule does not apply when there is no transfer of ownership or control of a dog to another person for more than de minimis consideration after the dog's importation into the United States. Therefore, dogs imported by a person who will use the dog as a personal pet, for sport, for shows or competitions, or for breeding or semen collection are not subject to the 6-month age restriction or any other requirements of this rule.
The United States does not ban breeds, however, some cities do. Visitors to these cities will be responsible for their pet's behavior.
Exporting Pets from the United States
All resident pets leaving the United States must send relevant paperwork required for the destination country to the State USDA office for endorsement prior to leaving the country. Additionally, transiting pets whose permits or health certficiates have expired will be required to obtain these documents in the United States and have them endorsed prior to leaving the country.
Pets returning to the United States are subject to the same passport requirements as those entering for the first time. This means that pet owners returning to the United States should consider getting a new health certificate completed by a vet in the country you are visiting if you stay for more than 30 days as many States require a current health certificate.
There are no rabies requirements for other species of rodents, rabbits, ornamental fish, intervebrates, amphibians and reptiles imported to the United States. These pets should travel with health certificates issued prior to travel.
Birds entering the United States from any country will require permits from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The following regulations assume an import of 5 or less birds.
Birds entering the United States from Canada by air or seaport will require an import permit, health certificate and veterinary inspection.
In addition to these requirements, non-US-resident pet birds entering the US from all countries except Canada must enter the United States must travel directly to quarantine at the New York Animal Import Center in Newburgh, NY or the Miami Animal Import Center in Miami, FL. A 30-day quarantine is required for these pet birds and includes mandatory testing.
Birds entering the United States from Mexico or other HPAI-infected country** must undergo 21 days pretravel quarantine in Mexido and enter by air at international airports located in Miami or New York and be subject to 30 days of quarantine. An import permit, health certificate and veterinary inspection will apply.
Birds entering the United States from HPAI-free countries are subject to all requirements above except the 21 day pre-travel quarantine.
Pet birds weighing more than 100 grams, must be identified by one of three approved means (microchip, leg band or tattoo) in order to qualify for home quarantine, in lieu of Federal quarantine, upon returning to the United States from HPAI-FREE countries. The identification must be documented on the accompanying U.S. origin health certificate.
**HPAI-infected countries are: Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Botswana, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cambodia, Canada, China, Croatia, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Macau, Malaysia, Mali, Moldova, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Taiwan, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.
Live finfish of most species may be imported into the United States without import requirements. There are 8 species of fish that will require an import permit and health certificate completed by a licensed veterinarian in the originating country: common carp, including koi carp (Cyprinus carpio), goldfish (Carassius auratus), grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus), silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix), bighead carp (Aristichthys nobilis), Crucian carp (Carassius carassius), tench (Tinca tinca), and sheatfish (Silurus glanis).
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 (CITES). You will need to apply for additional permits if this is the case. Over 180 countries participate and enforce CITES regulations.
Need More Assistance?
To the best of our ability, we ensure that recommendations given on PetTravel.com reflect the current regulations. We cannot predict how a given country may enforce these regulations. Noncompliance may result in the need to make arrangements to put your pet into quarantine at your expense, return your pet to the country of origin, or euthanize your pet. We suggest that you minimize the disruptions that may occur by following the rules of the country you are visiting.
Further detail on import permits, costs, tests and procedures are available at minimal cost at PetTravelStore.com under Pet Passports. We also stock all the equipment and accessories your pet will need for traveling domestically or internationally. Same day shipping Monday through Friday until 2:00 PM EST.
GOT QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS???
Due to the high demand, we may be unable to respond to your question quickly if posted below. If you need a fast response, you can post them directly to our Facebook page, blog, or forum. We will respond as soon as we can.
Please note that the accuracy of comments made from Facebook users other than Pet Travel have not been verified. We do not endorse any person or company that may offer transport services through posts to this webpage.