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Christine L. Doyle is an attorney in the Labor and Employment Practice Group in the firm's Orange County office.

On July 6, 2021 the U.S. State Department publicly announced that the travel ban waivers related to the world-wide pandemic will now be good for 1 year and multiple entry.  The effective date of this new decision is June 29, 2021.  Previously they were only good for 30 days and a single entry.  In addition, those that have received a waiver in the past may now use it for 12 months if it was granted after June 29, 2020.  See: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/extension-validity-for-nies-for-china-iran-brazil-south-africa-schengen-uk-ireland-india.html

Continue Reading NIE’s Now Good for 1 Year, More on Navigating the Travel Ban Jungle: National Interest Exception Checklist for the U.S. COVID Travel Bans

The travel bans imposed by the U.S. Government during the COVID-19 national pandemic created enormous logistical challenges for anyone seeking to fly to the U.S. from a country on the travel ban list.  Even today, there is still a great deal of confusion regarding who is subject to the travel ban, what are the exceptions, and how to go about applying for a National Interest Exception (NIE) waiver.  The checklist below is intended to help simplify an albeit complicated process.  Of course, most U.S. Consulates are still operating at limited capacities so significant delays for waivers and visa stamping is still the norm.

Continue Reading Navigating the Travel Ban Jungle: National Interest Exception Checklist for the U.S. COVID Travel Bans

On March 3, 2021, the U.S. Embassy to France announced significant changes in the criteria for granting “National Interest Exemptions” (“NIE waiver”) to certain foreign travelers coming to the United States. The U.S. Embassy strongly advised persons currently in the United States on E, H, L, O, or P visas not leave the United States for trips back to France unless “they understand that they may not be able to re-enter the United States for some time.” In particular, these changes will favor specialists in critical infrastructures to get a NIE waiver, as opposed to senior executives who will generally be denied. The U.S. Embassy further indicated that no information has been provided as to when such new criteria for exceptions will be lifted.  These changes will likely be enforced by all of the U.S. Embassies in Europe for at least the near future.
Continue Reading U.S. Embassy in Paris Substantially Limits the Eligibility of National Interest Exemptions for Foreign Travelers