Department of State Extends Validity of National Interest Exceptions for Twelve Months

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On July 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) posted guidance that confirms National Interest Exceptions (NIE) issued in the last 12 months are being automatically extended for 12 months from the date of approval, as long as they are used for the purpose under which they were granted. The extension applies to NIEs issued for travelers subject to the various Presidential Proclamations restricting entry into the U.S. for those traveling from China, Iran, Schengen Area, U.K., Ireland, Brazil, South Africa, and India.

Before this recent guidance was issued, every time a traveler to the U.S. obtained an NIE, the traveler had 30 days to enter the U.S. and the NIE was only valid for one entry into the U.S. If he or she wished to travel to the U.S. again from one of the counties listed above, a new NIE application was required.

While this guidance is helpful for anyone who was previously granted an NIE, the process remains the same and an NIE is required for those wishing to travel to the U.S. on an initial trip from one of the countries subject to the travel restrictions listed above. 

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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