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NIE Changes In Schengen Countries

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NIE Changes In Schengen Countries

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On March 2, 2021, the Secretary of State rescinded the previous national interest determination and issued a new determination regarding categories of travelers eligible for a National Interest Exception (NIE) under Presidential Proclamation 10143, as related to the Schengen Area*, United Kingdom, and Ireland. The Proclamation restricts the entry of certain noncitizens who have been present in a Schengen country during the 14 days preceding entry to the U.S.

What does this mean? What has changed?

Some categories of travelers that automatically qualified for an NIE under the previous guidance will no longer qualify automatically. Specifically, certain technical experts and specialists, senior-level managers and executives, treaty-traders and investors, and professional athletes must meet new, stringent criteria to qualify for an NIE. This means that individuals who have or are seeking E, H, L, O, or P visas may be affected.

No visas or NIEs issued under the old guidance will be revoked.

What remains the same?

Similar to the previous guidance, the following people do not need an NIE:

  • Students (F and M visas)
  • Diplomats (A or G visas)
  • Air and ship crew (C1/D visas)
  • United States citizens and their spouses, minor children, and parents
  • Lawful Permanent Residents and their spouses, minor children, and parents

NIEs will be considered for:

  • Those traveling for purposes related to humanitarian travel, public health response, and national security (e.g. persons traveling to treat COVID patients or conduct public health research)
  • Individuals visiting the U.S. to offer vital support to critical infrastructures sectors or supply chains.
  • Journalists
  • J-1 Academics

NIEs are valid for one entry and a period of 30 days.

*Note: Countries included in the Schengen Area include Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

If you have any questions about NIEs or how this guidance may affect your case, please schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys to discuss your case.

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