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

Jul 23, 2021

Applicants for Change of Status to F-1 Student No Longer Need "Bridge" Applications to Prevent Gap in Status

US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on July 20, 2021 a new policy regarding Change of Status (COS) to the Nonimmigrant Student (F-1) visa classification. The new policy eliminates the need to document maintenance of nonimmigrant visa status up until the approval date of the COS to F-1 student visa status. Learn more in this blog.

Jun 30, 2021

Amy Jill Novak Named Vice Chair of AILA’s Department of Labor H-2 Visa Committee

Congratulations to Amy Jill Novak, Mountain West Practice Director at Green and Spiegel LLC, who was just named Vice Chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association Department of Labor Liaison Committee’s H-2 Section! Amy has been a member of AILA’s Department of Labor Liaison Committee H-2B Visa Committee since 2019. Learn more in this blog.

Jun 22, 2021

UPDATE – A Return to International Travel?

On Friday, June 18th, as hoped, members of the European Union voted to add the United States to their list of countries to lift pandemic-related travel restrictions! Although this is an important step forward, please note that all travel restrictions for incoming US travel from Europe remain unchanged until further notice. Learn more in this blog.