On February 10, 2021, the U.S. State Department announced that students traveling from the Schengen Area, U.K., and Ireland who currently possess a valid visa will no longer need to seek a National Interest Exception (NIE) to travel to the United States. Instead, they will be automatically considered under a general NIE and will be able to travel to the United States without needing to contact a U.S. embassy or consulate prior to travel.
F-1 and M-1 students who do not possess a valid visa are still required to obtain a visa as they normally would. Students seeking to apply for a new F-1 or M-1 visa should check the status of visa services at the nearest embassy or consulate. If the applicants are found otherwise qualified for an F-1 or M-1 visa, they will automatically be considered for a NIE to travel.
Business travelers, investors, academics, J-1 students, journalists, and treaty traders are still being directed to contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate before traveling to apply for a national interest exception.
The attorneys at Curray York & Associates will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates to this blog as we become aware of them.