On July 6, 2021, the Department of State (DOS) issued guidance stating that national interest exceptions (NIEs) issued in the last 12 months are being automatically extended for 12 months from the date of approval, and for multiple entries, as long as they are used for the purpose under which they were granted. The extension applies to NIEs for travelers subject to Presidential Proclamations 9984 (China), 9992 (Iran), 10143 (Schengen Area, U.K., Ireland, Brazil, and South Africa), and 10199 (India). The official guidance from DOS can be found here. More information on the Geographic COVID-19 Related Travel Bans can be found here.
It should be noted that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) maintains independent authority from DOS and CBP has not issued guidance as to whether CBP-issued NIEs will also be extended. Thus, only NIE’s issued by a U.S. Embassy abroad are currently eligible for the automatic 12 month extension.
MVA continues to monitor the ongoing COVID-19 related impacts to U.S. immigration and will continue to provide alerts on these topics.