On July 6, 2021, the Department of State extended the validity of National Interest Exceptions (NIE) for travelers subject to restrictions under the COVID-19 travel bans (Presidential Proclamations 9984, 9992, 10143, and 10199).  Unless otherwise indicated, existing NIEs will be valid 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.

This extension applies to travelers subject to these 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.

The 12 month and multiple entry extension applies retroactively to all existing NIEs approved in the last 12 months. NIE approved travelers may travel to the United States using the existing NIE if it was approved in the last 12 months and if the purpose of travel is the same as the purpose for which it was granted.

When considered together with the State Department’s May 27th broadening of the NIE criteria for business travel, travelers subject to restrictions now have the opportunity to travel repeatedly to the United States for a variety of business purposes without needing to request an NIE for each trip.