Extended Validity of NIEs For Travel from India to the U.S.
On July 6, 2021, the U.S. State Department announced that National Interest Exceptions (NIEs) to Presidential Proclamation 10199 that affects travel from India issued by the Department of State will be valid for 12 months from the date of approval and for multiple entries. This announcement also applies to other Presidential Proclamations that affect travel from other countries and those that may be issued in the future to impose similar COVID-19 related travel restrictions.
Up until this announcement, NIEs were only valid for 30 days and for a single entry.
It is important to note that the State Department has also announced that the “12 month and multiple entry extension applies retroactively to all existing National Interest Exceptions approved in the last 12 months.” This means that individuals who have been granted an NIE within the last 12 months will no longer need to reapply for a new NIE “if the purpose of travel is the same as the purpose for which [the initial/prior NIE] was granted.” The 12-month period starts from the date of the NIE approval.
This extension does not apply to NIEs that have been granted by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and we are yet to see a similar announcement from the CBP.
It would be advisable for Individuals who have been granted NIEs prior to March 2021 (when the NIE criteria changed) to ascertain whether this extension applies to them as well.
We will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide further updates as more information becomes available.