The following student groups may qualify for the National Interest Exception (NIE) to the COVID Presidential Proclamation, which supports a high priority travel visa application for the United States:
- Students from China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, the Schengen area, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and India
- Students and certain academics covered by exchange visitor programs only if their academic program begins August 1, 2021, or later.
- Students who already have valid F-1 visas and intend to begin or continue an academic program commencing August 1, 2021, or later. These students do not need to contact an embassy or consulate to seek an individual NIE to travel to the US.
Each approved NIE is valid for 30 days and a single entry into the United States. Students may enter the United States no earlier than 30 days before the start of their academic studies. As long as you have a valid visa, you should should be able to enter the US for fall semester with a NIE. Students seeking to apply for new F-1 visas should check the status of visa services at a US embassy or consulate. If otherwise eligible, an F-1 visa applicant will automatically be considered for an NIE.
For a full list of exceptions and details, visit the US Department of State website and the National Interest Exceptions page. Please check the website of the nearest US embassy or consulate for location-specific NIE guidance. For Guidelines to follow After International Travel visit the CDC International Travel webpage.