Travelling with Cats and Dogs from

Sri Lanka to the United States of America (USA)

Taking Pet Cats and Dogs from Sri Lanka to the United States of America (USA)

Travelling with Pet Cats & Dogs from Sri Lanka to the United States of America (USA)

Travelling with pet dogs from Sri Lanka to the United States is extremely difficult due to the suspension imposed by the CDC with effect 14th July 2021. Briefly speaking, all dogs to be eligible to enter the U.S. have to be microchipped, fully vaccinated against Rabies, pass an OIE approved RNATT and complete 03 months before the pet owner can apply for a CDC Import Permit. Provided that the pet owner secures a CDC import approval, all pet dogs can currently enter the U.S. only via New York JFK.

The above entry regulations do not apply to Cats travelling to the USA. The above laws are only applicable for dogs. Cats do not require an RNATT or  import Permit issued by the CDC. Cats can enter the USA through any airport.

Pet Express | International Pet Transport Specialists | Pet Travel Agency | Pet Shipping Services | Pet Relocation Company

We work with excellent partner offices all across the USA in all states and cities which enables us to handle any complicated pet move.

We are also able also handle destination import Customs clearances in the US and any domestic transportation thereafter.

We can also arrange a door delivery to the door-step of your residence anywhere in the USA.

Our expert pet relocation specialist team will assist you with the relocation process until your pets safely arrive in the USA.

Everything you need to know when travelling with Dogs from Sri Lanka to the United States of America (USA)

Beginning July 14, 2021, there is a temporary suspension which prohibits the entry of dogs into the United States arriving from Sri Lanka (high risk rabies country)

On an extremely limited basis, CDC has the authority to issue an ‘advance written approval’ (CDC Dog Import Permit) to import a dog from Sri Lanka to the US. 

If you intend to travel with your pet dog from Sri Lanka to the US, you need to request advance written approval from CDC by emailing at least 30 business days (6 weeks) before you intend to bring the dog into the United States.

Submitting an application does not guarantee a permit will be issued. CDC reserves the right to deny issuing a CDC Dog Import Permit even if the pet fulfils the entry requirements. 

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.

No CDC Dog Import Permits are issued upon arrival. Dogs that arrive from Sri Lanka without advance written approval from CDC will be denied entry and returned to the country of departure at the importer’s expense.

This suspension applies whether dogs are hand-carried, checked in as passenger baggage, or transported as cargo on flights to the United States. These rules apply to all dogs, including puppies, service animals, and emotional support dogs. These rules also apply whether you are 

  1. just visiting the United States with your dog, 
  2. importing dogs into the United States, or 
  3. traveling out of the United States and returning with your dog after a temporary visit, such as a vacation or holiday, or for visiting friends and relatives. 

If you do not follow CDC’s rules, your dog will not be allowed to enter the United States and will be returned to the country of departure at your expense.

Our Services when moving pets from Sri Lanka to USA includes

Dedicated Pet Travel Specialist for your needs

Collection & Ground transportation in Sri Lanka

Pre-flight pet boarding services

All types of veterinary services including ISO 15 digit microchipping, vaccinations, blood tests, health certificates

Official Endorsement stating that the pet is free from Screwworm infestation

Official Export International Health Certificate issued by the Government of Sri Lanka with the Vaccination records

Export Customs Approvals / Export permits

IATA Compliant International Pet Travel Containers (Pet Travel Boxes, Sky Kennels, Vari Kennels)

Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

Flight Booking for pets travelling as manifested air freight cargo under an Air Waybill (AWB) using approved airlines

Import Services at the destination airport through our partner network in the USA

Customs Clearance in USA

Door Delivery to your door-step anywhere in the USA


The CDC states a permit will be issued on an “extremely limited basis”. This simply means, even though the dog successfully fulfils the CDC import requirements; CDC will not guarantee an import permit.

Pet Express | International Pet Transport Specialists | Pet Travel Agency | Pet Shipping Services | Pet Relocation Company

Import Permit Application Requirements for Dogs Travelling to the USA

Import 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.
  • The dog must be at least 6 months old at the time of travel, as verified by submission of current photos of the dog’s teeth
  • ISO 15 digit transponder/microchip and the primary rabies vaccine at the youngest age of 03 months
  • 30 days waiting from the primary rabies vaccine + Rabies Neutralising Antibody Titre Test (RNATT) from an OIE approved laboratory + 03 months waiting period.
  • Have a valid rabies vaccination certificate eg: Pet passport / vaccination book with rabies vaccination stickers with vet rubber stamp + signature
  • The pet owner must apply for a CDC import permit.
  • As of today, dogs can only enter the USA through JFK New York (the only BIP in the USA as of today)


Who is Eligible to Apply for a CDC Import Permit:

  • The following categories of importers are eligible to request a permit to import a dog into the United States:
    • A US government employee with permanent change of station or temporary duty orders;
    • A US citizen or lawful US resident relocating to the United States, such as for employment or education; or
    • An owner of a service dog that is trained to assist a person with a disability.
      • In accordance with US Department of Transportation regulations at 14 CFR part 382, emotional support animals, comfort animals, companionship animals, and service animals in training are not considered service animals.
    • Importers wishing to import dogs for science, education, or exhibition, as these terms are defined in 42 CFR 71.50, or for bona fide law enforcement
  • CDC Dog Import Permits will NOT be issued for:
    • Dogs intended for other purposes, such as adoption, resale, or transfer of ownership.
    • Dogs that will accompany owners on short-term travel to and from high-risk countries. 


Frequently Asked Questions & Answers 

  1. How long is the CDC import permit valid for once issued?
    • It is valid for one-time entry from the date of issuance until 14 days after the date of arrival (to accommodate last-minute flight changes).
  2. How long is the RNATT result valid for?
    • One (01) year from the date the sample was collected.
  3. Do these rules still apply for pets of service members, including active duty military, Department of Defense, U.S. State Department, etc.?
    • Yes. US government employees with permanent change of station or temporary duty orders are eligible to apply for a permit.
  4. Is a pet shipping agent permitted to apply for the import permit on behalf of our clients?
    • No. The individual wishing to import their own dog into the United States must apply for the permit themselves. An importer may list a courier, broker, agent, etc. as the permit holder who will be submitting the permit to customs upon arrival, but the importer must complete, sign, and submit the application themselves. There cannot be be a Power or Attorney.


“There is no fee to obtain the import permit. Pets that are scheduled to fly in July and August should immediately request a titer from one of the approved labs (list attached) as there is a 90-day waiting period between when a titer is drawn and when a dog can be imported. We will review permit applications and determine waiver eligibility for the 90-day requirement based on the information the importer submits. I would urge eligible importers to apply for a CDC Dog Import Permit as soon as possible as we anticipate receiving a lot of applications in the first 60 days.” 


Approved Airport of Entry:

All dogs from high-risk countries must enter the United States at a port of entry with a live animal care facility with a US Customs and Border Protection (CBP)-issued Facilities Information and Resource Management System (FIRMS) code.

CDC will update the list of approved ports of entry as they become available. The current list of approved ports of entry are:

  • John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City (JFK)

Important Note: The CDC states a permit will be issued on an “extremely limited basis”. This simply means, even though the dog successfully fulfils the CDC import requirements; CDC will not guarantee an import permit.

Please use the following web resources for CDC Dog Import Permit Application Instructions