National Interest Exception
Last July, Washington announced that the travel ban imposed by the Presidential Proclamation of March 11, 2020, would be made less restrictive for a specific group of travelers.
Certain travelers from Schengen countries could resume travel to the United States, if they would qualify for a National Interest Exception (a “NIE”), to be determined by a U.S. consular officer. On said March date, President Trump signed a proclamation suspending entry into the United States of aliens who were physically present in the Schengen area within 14 days preceding their travel to, and (attempted) entry into, the United States. A NIE can be obtained by certain travelers; for instance investors (E-2), traders (E-1) and businesses travelers (B-1) may be eligible for a NIE, which would allow travel to and entry into the United States. Travelers who already have valid visas or ESTA’s and believe they qualify for a NIE must submit a request with supporting documentation to a U.S.
consular section; travelers who do not yet have appropriate visas and who believe that they would qualify for a NIE should apply for their visas as they would normally do and request issuance of a NIE during their visa interview. In determining eligibility for a NIE, a U.S. consular officer will consider all relevant facts and circumstances for each applicant individually. It is important to explain in detail how the applicant’s planned travel will provide a substantial economic benefit to U.S. economy. In case the presence of employees is urgently required in the U.S., e.g. due to performance of commissioning, repair or service activities, Van Velzen C.S. can assist with submission of a NIE request.
A NIE is valid only for 30 days from the date of approval and is valid for a single entry into the United States. An individual who departs the U.S. and wishes to return must be re-assessed for NIE issuance eligibility.