Good news for U.S. businesses, foreign investors and entrepreneurs, and the U.S. economy in general: For almost 20 months, the U.S. was closed for business, at least to people from 36 countries. Now it is finally open again and the effects, both short-term and long-term will be very positive.

As soon as Covid hit and the Trump administration acknowledged it, the U.S.’s walls started to go up. First, the physical borders with Canada and Mexico were closed, then people living in China were banned from entering, and then people residing in Europe were added, followed by Brazil and India.

Until Fall 2020, almost no one could enter the U.S. at all, just U.S. citizens, green card holders, crew members, and diplomats. Then the doors were opened for some to come directly, assuming they could get flights or were not forced to quarantine in their home country and were not allowed to leave. Those subjected to the direct travel bans had only one option if they wanted to come to the U.S.: To triangulate through a non-restricted country, meaning to fly to a country that was not restricted first, remain there for a minimum of 14 full days, and then take a flight to the U.S.

For almost 20 months, people living in those countries could not come directly to the U.S., an unprecedented occurrence, that has finally come to an end. As of November 8, 2021, the U.S. borders are finally open for people to enter (legally) with their visas in hand. This means foreign tourism will be booming again, and in the next few months, perhaps like never before.

This also means that all the billions of dollars that were waiting on the sidelines to invest in the U.S., in real estate, and in new business opportunities, will be flooding in. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) may be higher in 2021 than it has ever been in any other year and this translates to a huge push in the right direction, and also means that many U.S. job openings will be generated. In order for savvy investors to scout locations, do due diligence and negotiate deals, they must physically see those locations, explore the markets and look for opportunities and meet others face to face, and that will now be possible due to the ban being lifted.

To clarify: All people who wish to enter the U.S. still need a visa (or if they are from an ESTA country, they need active ESTA status)! This is not open borders. In addition, travelers must be vaccinated, either with Moderna, Pfizer, or Johnson & Johnson or a vaccine accepted by the World Health Organization. They must also get a negative Covid test within 72 hours of traveling. Finally, the U.S. is open for business again. Let’s hope that the influx of investment dollars and the positive effects on the U.S. economy will finally be appreciated by this government and that the doors to the U.S. are never closed again.