National Interest Exception

Under the Trump Administration's Presidential Proclamation 9993, travelers who have been in the Schengen Area for 14 days prior to arrival are prohibited from entering the United States. Certain travelers are able to qualify for an exception that allows them to travel.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is a National Interest Exception (NIE)?

A National Interest Exception is an application submitted to the US Consulate, requesting an exception from Presidential Proclamation 9933, which prohibits travel from the Schengen Area to the United States.

The approved application permits travelers to enter the US once within the 30 days after approval. National Interest Exceptions can be used for ESTA and US visa holders.

Who is eligible for a National Interest Exception?

Travelers that fall into one of the following categories under Presidential Proclamation 9993, which has suspended routine travel from the Schengen Area to the United States:

  • Public Health: Travel as a public health or healthcare professional or researcher to alleviate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, or to continue ongoing research in an area with substantial public health benefit (e.g. cancer or disease research).

  • Students: All students, and their dependents, traveling to the United States on an F or M visa to pursue a full course of study or on a J visa to participate in an exchange program as a bona fide student.

  • Academics: All exchange visitors and their dependents traveling to the United States on J visas in the following categories: Professors, Research Scholars, Short Term Scholars, or Specialists.

  • Investors: Travel in connection with investment or trade in the U.S. economy that generates a substantial economic impact, including investors and treaty-traders on E visas and the senior-level employees who provide strategic direction or expertise essential to the success of the investment, and their dependents.

  • Economic: Temporary travel that provides a substantial economic benefit to the U.S. economy, including: 

    • Technical experts and specialists to install, service, maintain, or receive training for vessels, machinery and other specialized equipment used by U.S. and foreign firms with a substantial investment in the United States. Travel is temporary in nature and for a defined period of time.

    • Senior-level managers and executives, and their dependents, who provide strategic direction necessary for the success of the company or venture.

    • Professional athletes, dependents, and essential staff who enter the United States to participate in major sporting events, which bolster the U.S. economy.

How can I apply for a National Interest Exception?

The application must be submitted directly to the US consulate and must include evidence regarding your urgent travel need and qualification for the National Interest Exception.

For a consultation and more information about the application process, please click here to schedule an appointment with Adomat Immigration.


How long are National Interest Exception approvals valid for?

Thirty (30) days after approval.

How long does it take the US consulate to process a National Interest Exception application?

It depends, but usually within several business days.

How much does it cost to apply for a National Interest Exception?

There are no government filing fees for a National Interest Exception. The legal fees for the application depend on the amount of time needed to prepare the application.

For a consultation and fee quote, please click here to schedule an appointment with Adomat Immigration.

Is it possible to apply for a National Interest Exception several times?

Yes! However, you must apply for a National Interest Exception before each entry to the US.


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