On Wednesday 3 March, the US Department of State formalised major changes to the NIE (“National Interest Exceptions”) application process.
United States national interest exception permits
These exceptional permits enabling travel to the United States have been systematically rolled out since Covid-19 entry restrictions were implemented. In fact, since the second half of 2020, any person wishing to travel to the United States from an area in the entry ban list (Schengen Area, United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, China, Iran and South Africa) and travelling on ESTA or E/H/L/O/P visas, has had to apply for an NIE or national interest exception permit. The traveller is then given a “NIE waiver”.
The changes introduced yesterday by indefinite ministerial order are designed to restrict the eligibility criteria for NIE waivers, by introducing greater detail into the justifications the American Consulate will accept.
- Many foreign nationals who previously obtained NIE waivers may no longer be eligible,
- We have been informed that all appointments for E1/E2 visa applications for March in Paris will be cancelled (you may still request urgent appointments if you have sufficient justification and proven eligibility);
- L/H/D visa holders will also be subject to the same NIE criteria if the ban on issuing these types of visas is lifted on 31 March.
Cooptalis supports you!
- We will contact you shortly to take stock of our current US expatriation procedures and to adjust structuring in response to these new circumstances.
- We strongly advise you to organise the schedules of your expatriates in the US so you can prevent any non-postponable exit from the United States; otherwise these individuals may not be able to return to the US for an indefinite period of time.
Feel free to contact our expatriation team to analyse your situation and look at any potential options.