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CDC Import Permit Requirement for Dogs Coming from Rabies High Risk Countries

November 18, 2021
Source: Guide Dog Users Inc.

Attention: Important Advisory for Guide Dog Users Planning International Travel with Their Dogs

Are you planning to travel internationally with your guide dog? Here’s some important information you will need to know. As of July 14, 2021, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) began requiring people traveling with dogs to the USA from countries where there’s a high risk of Rabies to obtain a special permit for their dog to return to the United States.

The Prohibition applies to dogs that reside in any of the countries listed below, as well as dogs traveling with United States citizens who are returning from travel abroad from any of the listed countries, no matter how long their duration of travel within those countries.

The requirement applies to all dogs, including service dogs. Even if you reside in the United States, if your guide dog has been vaccinated against Rabies, and if you can provide proof of their vaccinated status, you will still be required to produce the CDC Dog Import Permit before your dog will be permitted to return from any of the countries listed here:


  • Algeria, Angola
  • Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi
  • Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Côte D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti
  • Egypt (Temporary importation suspension of dogs from Egypt until further notice)
  • Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini (Swaziland), Ethiopia
  • Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho, Liberia, Libya
  • Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique
  • Namibia, Niger, Nigeria
  • Republic of the Congo, Rwanda
  • Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan
  • Tanzania (including Zanzibar), Togo, Tunisia
  • Uganda
  • Western Sahara
  • Zambia, Zimbabwe

Americas & Caribbean:

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

Asia and the Middle East, Eastern Europe:

  • Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan
  • Bangladesh, Belarus, Bhutan, Brunei
  • Cambodia, China (excluding Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan)
  • Georgia
  • India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos, Lebanon
  • Malaysia, Moldova, Mongolia, Myanmar (Burma)
  • Nepal, North Korea
  • Oman
  • Pakistan, Philippines
  • Qatar
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Syria
  • Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste (East Timor), Turkey, Turkmenistan
  • Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan
  • Vietnam
  • Yemen

The CDC recommends that you begin to take steps to obtain the CDC Dog Import Permit at least six weeks in advance of your projected date of arrival in the United States. Furthermore, right now, there are only 18 airports which are authorized, during a transition period between July 14, 2021, and January 7, 2022, to accept the permit and allow your dog to enter the USA, so keep this list of airports in mind as you make reservations for your returning trip.

Anchorage (ANC), Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Detroit (DTW), Honolulu (HNL), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), Minneapolis (MSP), New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), Philadelphia (PHL), San Francisco (SFO), San Juan (SJU), Seattle (SEA), and Washington DC (IAD).

After January 7, 2022, that list of authorized ports of entry will shrink to just three. Those ports of entry will be:
John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York (JFK),
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), and
Atlanta International Airport (ATL).

Visit this link to learn how to apply for the permit, which requires microchipping, a valid rabies vaccination certificate and blood work from an approved serology laboratory. Find specific instructions here:

How to Apply for a CDC Dog Import Permit

If you have questions about the requirement, please reach out directly to the CDC either by email at or call, toll-free, 800.232.4636.

Here are the countries at a high risk for Rabies

CDC Dog Import Permits will not be issued upon arrival. Dogs that arrive from high-risk countries without a CDC Dog Import Permit will be denied entry and returned to the country of departure at the importer’s expense.