A national interest exception application is a request for exemption from the US travel ban, which, if granted, authorizes travel to the United States. On January 25, 2021, President Biden reimposed the Trump travel ban on Europe, including the United Kingdom, and added South Africa to the list, joining Brazil, China, and Iran. The ban is indefinite, meaning it will apply until further notice, likely throughout 2021. US visa holders who receive a national interest exception (NIE) will have their visa annotated: “NIE under P.P. on Novel Coronavirus”. P.P. is short for Presidential Proclamation.
Sarah S. Rama, ESQ., LL.M. to apply for the NIE interview waiver eligibility. Sarah S. Rama, ESQ., LL.M. will liaise with airlines and the U.S. government agencies to ensure smooth boarding and seamless travel for her clients with national interest exceptions, including those traveling visa-free with ESTA authorization by obtaining National Interest Exception Waiver annotated on the US visa and/or National Interest Exception Annotated Boarding Pass.
Sarah S. Rama, ESQ., LL.M. represents applicants and companies applying for national interest exception cases across all embassies, consulates, and ports of entry into the United States.
The national interest exception, also known as a “212(f) exception”, requires an applicant to prove and reason, with supporting evidence, that their entry into the United States is a matter of national interest, which should exempt them from the Trump travel ban.
The Presidential proclamations restricting entry to the United States due to COVID-19 have an exception that states as follows:
“any alien whose entry would be in the national interest as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their designees.”
Public Health: Travel as a public health or health care professional or researcher to alleviate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, or to continue ongoing research in an area with substantial public health benefit (e.g., cancer or other disease research).
Students: All students, and their dependents, traveling to the United States on an F or M visa to pursue a full course of study, or on a J visa to participate in an exchange program as a bona fide student.
Academics: All exchange visitors and their dependents traveling to the United States on J visas in the following categories: Professors, Research Scholars, Short Term Scholars, or Specialists.
Investors: Travel in connection with investment or trade in the U.S. economy that generates a substantial economic impact, including investors and treaty-traders on E visas and the senior-level employees who provide strategic direction or expertise essential to the success of the investment, and their dependents.
Economic: Temporary travel that provides a substantial economic benefit to the U.S. economy, including the following:
Technical experts and specialists: to install, service, maintain, or receive training for vessels, machinery and other specialized equipment used by U.S. and foreign firms with a substantial investment in the United States. Travel is temporary in nature and for a defined period of time.
Senior-level managers and executives and their dependents, who provide strategic direction necessary for the success of the company or venture.
Professional athletes, dependents, and essential staff who enter the United States to participate in major sporting events, which bolster the U.S. economy.
The application for National Interest Exception is submitted usually to the U.S. consulate based upon a valid ESTA, valid current visa or presented during an application for an initial or renewal visa application The process of applying for a National Interest Exception varies from country to country or from U.S. consulate to consulate (e.g., varying application documentation and processing time). Sarah S. Rama, ESQ., LL.M. will assist you in applying properly at your home country Embassy or Consulate.
The application for National Interest Exception can be initiated a CBP port (airport) you are planning to fly through. Some airports such as JFK, Newark, Boston, or LAX have established procedures how to apply for the NIE directly at the airport. Sarah S. Rama, ESQ., LL.M. will help you navigate each Port of Entry Requirements and determine the best strategy for applying for the NIE on your behalf.
US Citizens, Permanent Residents and Immediate Family Members
US citizens, green card holders, and certain immediate family members are exempt and can travel to the United States, with proof of either a negative COVID-19 test or documentation of COVID-19 recovery in order to be permitted to board an aircraft. Sarah S. Rama, ESQ., LL.M. will provide her clients with a travel letter as needed to assist in seamless traveling for expressly exempt travelers.