On June 29, 2021, the State Department announced that it would extend the validity of previously approved National Interest Exceptions (NIEs) for travelers from certain countries, subject to restrictions. Under this new guidance, NIEs granted within the last 12 months will be valid for 12 months from the date of approval and may be used for multiple entries. However, the NIE can only be used for the purpose of travel listed in the approved NIE request.
Travelers should be aware that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will make the final determination of whether the existing NIE is valid or a new NIE is required, at the time of entry into the United States. This may pose a risk to anyone whose jobs or visa classifications have changed. Travelers should also be prepared to explain the national interest of their work at the time of each entry.
In order to avoid any confusion or issues during travel, contact your immigration counsel prior to travel to determine whether your NIE is valid under this extension and whether your purpose of travel will fall within the parameters of the approved NIE.
For the full announcement from the State Department, please click here.