Extension of Validity for National Interest Exceptions (NIEs)

July 8, 2021

On July 6, 2021, the Department of State announced that National Interest Exceptions (NIE) to all COVID-19 travel bans will now be valid for 12-months from the date of approval and may be used to travel to the U.S. multiple times for the purpose indicated in the approved NIE. This extension applies to travelers subject to the presidential proclamations due to their presence in China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, the Schengen area, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and India who currently have approved NIEs or who were granted NIEs in conjunction with a visa application. As a reminder, F-1 students and their dependents are not subject to the travel ban and do not require an NIE. 

If you were previously approved for an NIE to travel to the U.S., your NIE will now be valid for 12 months from the date of approval and can be used for multiple entries to the U.S., as long as the NIE is used for the purpose under which it was granted. Previously, NIEs were only valid for 30-days from the date of issuance and could only be used for a single entry to the U.S. This new State Department policy expanding the validity of an NIE is effective immediately. 

For more information regarding the NIE and your visa type, please review the HIO COVID FAQ under “U.S. Embassy Visa Issuance and Travel Updates”.