How to Apply for a CDC Dog Import Permit

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Beginning July 14, 2021, there is a temporary suspension for dogs imported from high-risk countries for dog rabies. CDC has the authority to issue a CDC Dog Import Permit for US citizens and lawful residents relocating from high-risk countries to bring their dogs into the United States. Such permits will be issued on an extremely limited basis.

Extended Transition Process
From July 14, 2021 through January 7, 2022, dogs coming from high-risk countries with CDC Dog Import Permits can enter the United States at one of these 18 airports: 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, dogs coming from high-risk countries with CDC Dog Import Permits must enter only at approved ports of entry.

All dogs imported into the United States must be healthy on arrival.

Dogs that have not been in a high-risk country in the previous 6 months are not required by CDC to present a rabies vaccination certificate or other paperwork, but vaccination against rabies is recommended.

Important Information

On an extremely limited basis, CDC has the authority to issue advance written approval (CDC Dog Import Permit) to import a dog from a high-risk country. 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.

If you wish to import a dog from a high-risk country, apply for a CDC Dog Import Permit at least 30 business days (6 weeks) before you intend to bring the dog into the United States. Follow the application instructions closely. Submitting an incomplete application will delay the time to process the permit. Documents must be submitted in English or have a certified English translation.

certified translation is a signed statement on professional letterhead issued by a licensed translator declaring that the translation is an accurate and true representation of the original document. The translation must include the name, address, and contact information of the translator and have a signatory stamp or elevated seal with the translator’s license number included. A certified translation service provider can be found online.

Submitting an application does not guarantee a permit will be issued — CDC reserves the right to deny issuing a CDC Dog Import Permit. Submitting false information or making other false statements is punishable with fines and imprisonment.

If your request for advance approval is denied, CDC’s written denial will constitute final agency action. No appeals will be allowed.

Permit Application Requirements:

  • Each eligible importer of personal pet dogs may be granted approval to import a maximum of 3 dogs for one trip during the temporary suspension. Importers wishing to import dogs for science, education, exhibition, or bona fide law enforcement may be granted approval to import more than 3 dogs.
  • For dogs to be eligible for an import permit, they must:
    • be at least 6 months old, as verified by submission of current photos of the dog’s teeth
    • be microchipped
    • have a valid rabies vaccination certificate
    • have a valid rabies serologic titer from an approved laboratory if the dog was vaccinated outside of the United States.
      • Titers must be drawn a minimum of 30 days after initial rabies vaccination and at least 45 days before US entry.
      • Dogs due to receive rabies vaccination boosters may have their titers drawn at any time, but titers are most easily detected at least 30 days after vaccination.
    • View the list of approved laboratories
      • Results from unapproved laboratories will not be accepted.

Approved Ports of Entry:

During the transitional period from July 14, 2021– January 7, 2022, dogs coming from high-risk countries with CDC Dog Import Permits can enter the United States at one of these 18 airports: 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, only approved ports of entry are allowed. CDC will update this list of approved ports of entry here as they become available:

  • John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York (JFK)
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
  • Atlanta International Airport (ATL)

Who Can Apply—Apply Here if Eligible

These types of importers are eligible to apply for a permit to import a dog from a high-risk country into the United States. Click on your type of importer to review application requirements and confirm you have all the documents—then you can apply.

An incomplete application will delay the time to process the permit. Documents must be submitted in English or be accompanied by a certified English translation.

Permit FAQs