US State Department Extends National Interest Exception Validity | Morgan lewis

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The US State Department announced on July 6 that it has extended the validity of previously issued National Interest Exceptions (NIEs) and that in the future, NIEs will be granted for a period of one year. for multiple entries into the United States.

The Department of State’s announcement applies to NIEs that were granted to travelers subject to Presidential Proclamations 9984, 9992, 10143, and 10199 based on a person’s presence in the following countries in the 14 days prior to their visit. entry into the United States: China, Iran, Brazil, South Africa, Schengen area, United Kingdom, Ireland and India.

Under the new guidelines, people who have received NIE approvals within the last 12 months will be able to travel with the existing authorization for a period of 12 months from the date of approval. The State Department also added that NIE permissions will now be valid for multiple entries into the United States. Thus, on the basis of this retroactive extension of the NIE, a natural person who received an authorization in June 2021, for example, would be exempt from travel restrictions until June 2022 and will be able to make several trips with the same authorization. The new guidelines, however, only apply to trips that have the same purpose for which the original NIE was granted.

Under previous guidelines, people who received NIEs were required to enter the United States within 30 days of approval, and the travel authorization was only valid for one trip. Travelers requiring subsequent entries into the United States were required to apply for new NIE approvals for each trip.

Several questions remain open regarding this change, for example whether a previously granted NIE remains valid for travel from more than one country with travel restrictions or only from the country that was originally the subject of the NIE. Additionally, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has reported that NIEs granted by CBP at various points of entry only remain valid for a single entry and must be used within 30 days. As of this writing, it is not clear whether CBP will change its rules to align with the State Department change.

For additional government-related advice, learn more about our Practice of strategic government relations and consulting in Washington.

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