The National Interest Exception (NIE) and the Procedure for Traveling to USA from India

The United States had broad travel limitations set up because of COVID-19. These limitations disallowed the passage of non-residents into the United States until they got NIE (National Interest Exception) endorsement from the Consulate of the USA. Under the NIE (National Interest Exception) program, US specialists permitted a few explicit individuals who were qualified to fit the requirements for an NIE, to enter the US.

Regardless, in a few unusual circumstances, the NIE program can be utilized in the future. We should go through the total insights concerning the National Interest Exception program and its new updates.

What is the National Interest Exception?

The US COVID-19 travel ban, there were a few exemptions for this boycott, and the NIE program is one of them. The National Interest Exception is an application submitted to the US Consulate which permits travel to the US for individuals whose passage is of national significance.

Before the US travel boycott was lifted, non-residents, who needed to go to the US, were permitted to head out of the US. They were simply required to apply for an NIE visa and demonstrate that their entrance into the US involves national significance. Subsequent to getting an official consent from the US government, they were excluded from the US ban on entry and got a waiver. The US Department of Homeland Security and the US Department of State thought about every application depending upon the situation.

Impact of the Lifting Of The US Travel Ban On NIE

On November eighth, 2021, The United States lifted the US travel ban and applied COVID-19 vaccination and testing necessities to all passengers who wished to enter the USA. In any case, on grounds of specific extraordinary reasons, a non-resident whose passage to the US is of public interest might head out to the US without the COVID-19 vaccine.

Eligibility Criteria for a National Interest Exception:

  • Sound US visa holders
  • Substantial ESTA travel approval holders
  • New US visa candidates
  • This multitude of NIE guidelines were applied to explorers from the 26 nations of the Schengen region, Brazil, China (with the exception of Hong Kong and Macau), India, Iran, Ireland, South Africa, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

People Eligible for an NIE:

People who can be categorized as one of the accompanying classes were qualified to apply for an NIE:

  • People who offer indispensable help or chief course to the crucial architecture.
  • People who offer crucial help or chief heading for economic movement in the US.
  • People venturing out to the US for humanitarian or health-related crises.
  • In other words, students coming to the United States on F visas or on M visas to study full-time or on J visas to participate in exchange programs as bonafide students.
  • People traveling out to the US on J visas as Professors, Research Scholars, Short Term Scholars, or Specialists.
  • Medical services experts to lighten the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, or people working in the general medical care area.
  • People working for US public safety reasons.
  • Journalists or Mass Communicators with an I visa
  • People who work in harvest or agriculture
  • US specialists’ specialist organizations, (for example, military)
  • Aircrew individuals/pilots going to the US for preparing and airplane pickup, conveyance, or support.

16 most important framework capable of being qualified NIE:

  • Chemical
  • Commercial Facilities
  • Communications
  • Critical Manufacturing
  • Dams
  • Defense Industrial Base
  • Emergency Services
  • Energy
  • Financial
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Government Facilities
  • Healthcare and Public Health
  • Information Technology
  • Nuclear Reactors, Materials & Waste
  • Transportation Systems
  • Water

Individuals Who Did Not Need an NIE:

People who fall into the accompanying classes were not exposed to the US travel boycott and didn’t require an NIE visa:

  • Residents of USA
  • Legal Permanent Residents (Green Card Holders)
  • Relatives (Spouse and Children under 21) of USA residents or Green Card Holders
  • Individuals from US Armed Forces or their relative’s
  • Team individuals from carriers or delivery organizations (C-1/D visas)
  • People who offer help to the US policing and law enforcement
  • Negotiators, government authorities, or their relatives (A-1, A-2, C-2, C-3, G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, NATO visas)

Where And How Did Can One Apply For A NIE?

One needed to present the application for the National Interest Exception to the US Consulate. This was applied in the two circumstances, whether one previously had a legitimate visa, or whether one was applying for another US visa. There were a few varieties during the time spent applying for an NIE relying upon the office one was applying through. The application is expected to demonstrate the direness and significance of movement to the US. We should take a look at the records that must be ready to apply for an NIE:

1. A letter of justification
2.  A copy of your passport
3.  Proposed travel plans
4. ESTA approval or a copy of your visa

One needed to present extra records expected by the department, contingent depending on the application.

The NIE India application email incorporated the accompanying data for all of the passengers who were looking for a special case, as it shows up on the visa:

  • Last Name:
  • First Name:
  • Date of Birth, in DDMMMYYY format
  • Place of Birth:
  • Gender (M/F):
  • Country of Citizenship:
  • Passport Number:
  • Visa Number:
  • Visa Category:
  • Issuing Post Name (upper left corner of visa)
  • Travel Dates:
  • Travel purpose:
  • National interest category, including a clear justification for receipt of an NIE

Cost and Validity of an NIE

There is no extra government charge for an NIE card application for the people who as of now hold a legitimate US visa or ESTA grant. Assuming that somebody has applied for an NIE application as a piece of his US visa or ESTA application, the application expenses for the visa or ESTA should have been paid yet with no additional charge for an NIE.

An NIE endorsement from the US Consulate permitted different sections into the US in something like a year from the date of NIE endorsement. Furthermore, for another excursion to the US, another NIE card application should have been submitted.


During the US travel ban, assuming somebody was dependent upon the movement limitations and didn’t meet all requirements for an NIE, then, at that point, that individual could make a trip to a third country, not expose to the boycotts, for 14 days and afterward travel into the United States. The US section boycott has been lifted on November eighth, 2021 which brought about the non-legitimacy of supported NIE applications. Presently, COVID-19 vaccination and testing prerequisites are applied to all travelers who wish to enter the US. In any case, an individual (non-resident) whose section to the US involves public interest might in any case utilize NIE to make a trip to the US without COVID-19 immunization in a few extraordinary circumstances.


Q1. What amount does it cost to apply for an NIE?

Ans: There is no extra government documenting charge for an NIE application structure.

Q2. What amount of time does it require to get an NIE application choice?

Ans: It will likely take up to 14 workdays to get an NIE choice.

Q3. Is it conceivable to apply for an NIE India again subsequent to getting dismissed?

Ans: Yes, you can apply for an NIE visa even subsequent to getting dismissed, however you ought to be ready to give extra documentation to the Consulate to confirm the justification for your movement and why it is in the public interest.

Q4. Will my wards (mate and youngsters under 21) travel with me?

Ans: Yes, your life partner and youngsters (underneath the age of 21) can go with you, simply make a point to add their data to the NIE application structure.

Q5. Might H4 and subordinate visa holders at any point apply for an NIE?

Ans: Yes, on the grounds of the family division, H4 and subordinate visa class holders can apply for NIE.