On July 16, 2020, the U.S. Department of State published specific national interest exceptions to Presidential Proclamations 9993 and 9996, which bans entry to the United States if the traveler has been in the Schengen Area, United Kingdom, or Ireland in the last 14 days.
Under these exceptions, students with valid F-1 or M-1 visas may travel without seeking a national interest waiver. Prospective students from these areas may also follow the normal F-1 visa process to request an initial visa. J-1 visa holders should contact their local embassy or consulate to request an exception.
Additionally, certain business travelers, investors, treaty traders, and academics may qualify for a national interest exception to “assist with the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.” Waivers are considered for travel related to humanitarian purposes, health response, or national security. Those with an approved ESTA traveling for such qualified purposes should not need to request a waiver.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation with an experienced immigration attorney who can assist you with your visa needs.