- DOS has announced a new policy that makes it more difficult for some business travelers from the UK, Schengen Area, and Ireland to obtain a National Interest Exception (NIE) from Presidential Proclamation 10143
- DOS rescinded its previous policy for travelers eligible for an NIE under PP 10143
- The changes may affect B, E, H, L, O, and P nonimmigrants and some ESTA applicants
- Entry into the US is now permitted for workers offering vital support for critical infrastructure.
- DOS will continue to issue NIEs for qualified travelers who are entering the US for purposes related to public health response, humanitarian travel, and national security
- NIE criteria remains unchanged for academics, journalists, and students seeking entry into the US with a J-1 visa
- No previously issued NIEs will be revoked
- DOS has not yet provided details on how it will apply the new standards
The US Department of State (DOS) has announced a new policy that restricts business travelers and nonimmigrant workers from Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the EU Schengen Area from obtaining a national interest exception (NIE) based on regional travel bans still in effect for those areas.
What are the Changes?
DOS has rescinded the previous national interest determination policy specifying travelers who were eligible for an NIE under Presidential Proclamation (PP) 10143. As a result, business travelers and certain workers may be less likely to receive a national interest exception if they are coming from any of the areas noted above.
Along with rescinding its previous NIE policy, DOS has created a new national interest determination for certain travelers seeking entry into the United States to offer vital support for critical infrastructure.
Who is Affected?
Some categories of travelers will no longer be eligible for an NIE, including certain specialists, technical experts, senior-level executives and managers, investors, treaty-traders, professional athletes, and their dependents. The policy may affect B, E, H, L, O and P nonimmigrants, along with individuals traveling for business reasons with an ESTA.
NIE criteria remain unchanged for academics, journalists, and students seeking entry into the US with a J-1 visa. Additionally, DOS will continue to issue NIEs for qualified travelers who are entering the US for purposes related to public health response, humanitarian travel, and national security.
What Should Employers and Applicants Know?
Although DOS has adjusted its criteria for granting NIEs, no previously issued NIEs will be revoked. Qualified travelers who have, or who are applying for, a valid visa or ESTA authorization are permitted to travel to the US while PP 10143 remains in effect, provided they meet entry qualifications and follow the proper procedures to obtain an NIE.
Individuals in the categories that are eligible for an NIE should contact the nearest US embassy or consulate before traveling. Travelers will obtain ESTA authorization or a valid visa for travel to the US if their NIE is approved.
DOS has not yet provided details on how it will apply the new standards, but travelers from the affected countries will encounter greater difficulty in obtaining an NIE for business or work-related travel. CIP will provide updates as available.