Back to Top skip to main content
GandS U.S. Immigration Logo
Jul 9, 2021

Extension of validity for National Interest Exceptions (NIEs) for Travelers from China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and India

Jonathan A. Grode and Andrew Clancy Rodgers

On Tuesday July 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of State issued guidance extending the validity of National Interest Exceptions (NIEs) given to travelers through U.S. embassies and consulates abroad. According to the guidance, existing NIEs are now valid for 12 months from the date of approval and for multiple entries, assuming they are used for the purpose under which they were initially granted. Prior to this recent guidance, travelers who obtained NIEs only had a window of 30-days to enter and subsequent travel required a separate NIE application.

Important to note: it is unclear at this time if NIEs granted by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are being offered the same extension. At this point, we can only verify that this 12-month extension is in effect for NIEs granted by U.S. embassies or consulates. That said, CBP will honor those 12 month extensions granted by the embassies and consulates.

To apply for an NIE, review the specific instructions of the applicable consulate. As noted in the July 6th, 2021 guidance, those who qualify for an NIE include: “those traveling to provide vital support or executive direction to critical infrastructure; those traveling to provide vital support or executive direction for significant economic activity in the United States; journalists; travel due to extraordinary humanitarian circumstances; or travel in support of national security or public health.”

We encourage travelers to continue to check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 guidance regarding necessary COVID-19 testing and protocols pertaining to international travel as the pandemic continues to fluctuate. Should you have any questions or require further clarification on the above, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Related Team

Jonathan Grode

Jonathan A. Grode



email Jonathan

Philadelphia (US Headquarters)
Providence (New England)

Full Biography

Jonathan A. Grode

Related Services:

Recent Blogs

Oct 26, 2021

The Executive Order Has Been Published and, for the Vaccinated, the Travel Restrictions Will Be Revoked as of November 8, 2021

The Biden Administration has published a new COVID-19 air travel policy, revoking the travel restrictions for vaccinated foreign nationals. Unvaccinated foreign nationals may still be able to enter the United States but will need to follow specific procedures to do so. Unlike prior COVID-19 executive orders, the new policy applies to all foreign nationals, not only those who have been in specific countries. Learn more.

Oct 15, 2021

For the Vaccinated, Travel Restrictions Will End on November 8th

The Biden Administration has designated November 8, 2021, as the official end of the COVID-19 Travel Restrictions for fully vaccinated foreign nationals. Noncitizens will be able to travel to the U.S. via land, sea, and air from November 8th onward. Follow-up information will be necessary as the specific requirements for testing and procedures for those who are not vaccinated is published. Learn more in this blog.

Oct 05, 2021

Diversity Lottery Registration to Open October 6, 2021

The Department of State announced on their website that the online registration for the 2023 Diversity Visa Program is set to open on Wednesday October 6, 2021 at 12:00 noon, (EDT), and will close on Tuesday November 9, 2021 at 12:00. The Department has also published its website the DV-2023 Program Instructions. Learn more in this blog.