Apply for NIE for my parents to travel to the USA. – Is due to the presidential proclamation in the USA, direct flights for non-US citizens in India, Brazil, South Africa, China and most of the Schengen countries are avoided to travel to the USA.
Who can travel from India, Brazil, South Africa, China and most of the Schengen to the USA?
(a) Section 1 of this proclamation shall not apply to:
(i) any lawful permanent resident of the United States;
(ii) any noncitizen national of the United States;
(iii) any noncitizen who is the spouse of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident;
(iv) any noncitizen who is the parent or legal guardian of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided that the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident is unmarried and under the age of 21;
(v) any noncitizen who is the sibling of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, provided that both are unmarried and under the age of 21;
(vi) any noncitizen who is the child, foster child, or ward of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, or who is a prospective adoptee seeking to enter the United States pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications;
(vii) any noncitizen travelling at the invitation of the United States Government for a purpose related to containment or mitigation of the virus;
(viii) any noncitizen travelling as a nonimmigrant pursuant to a C-1, D, or C-1/D nonimmigrant visa as a crewmember or any noncitizen otherwise travelling to the United States as air or sea crew;
(ix) any noncitizen
(A) seeking entry into or transiting the United States pursuant to one of the following visas: A-1, A-2, C-2, C-3 (as a foreign government official or immediate family member of an official), E-1 (as an employee of TECRO or TECO or the employee’s immediate family members), G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, NATO-1 through NATO-4, or NATO-6 (or seeking to enter as a nonimmigrant in one of those NATO categories); or
(B) whose travel falls within the scope of section 11 of the United Nations Headquarters Agreement;
(x) any noncitizen who is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces or who is a spouse or child of a member of the U.S. Armed Forces;
(xi) any noncitizen whose entry would further important to the United States law enforcement objectives, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees, based on a recommendation of the Attorney General or his designee; or
(xii) any noncitizen whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their designees.
(b) Nothing in this proclamation shall be construed to affect any individual’s eligibility for asylum, withholding of removal, or protection under the regulations issued pursuant to the legislation implementing the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, consistent with the laws and regulations of the United States.
What is NIE?
The full form of NIE is “National Interest Exception“. NIE provides a special entry permit, allowing those stuck or stranded in India to fly back to America(USA), given their humanitarian activities or service in critical infrastructure sectors including national security, public health care, and information technology. Many individuals, among H1B, H4, L1 and L2 visa holders, working in any of the 16 critical infrastructure sectors (listed by the Department of State) have been granted an NIE to travel back to the US.
Who can Apply for NIE?
One who is seeking to travel to the USA for the below reasons can apply for NIE 🙂
One can apply for NIE approval on grounds of seeking lifesaving medical treatment in the United States. In this class, close family members accompanying the principal applicant are also eligible for NIE.
You can seek NIE approval if your purpose of travel is to provide care for a US citizen, lawful permanent resident, or a non-immigrant in lawful status (who must be a close family member). This comes under the ‘humanitarian travel’ category.
You can apply for NIE as a medical escort, legal guardian, or any other escort if you are required by an airline or a foreign medical or law enforcement entity to accompany a US citizen (minor or adult) from India to the US.
You can apply for NIE in the public health category if your purpose of travel is to curb the Novel Coronavirus pandemic or to continue the research for considerable public health benefits (e.g., cancer or a communicable disease).
You can seek an NIE travel permit as a derivative family member to accompany or follow to join a noncitizen in the US, who has already received, or is expected to receive NIE approval, or is involved in certain types of research, studies or long-term employment in the US, or is not subject to the Presidential Proclamations.
You can seek NIE approval if you are a pilot or a member of an aircrew travelling for training or aircraft pickup, delivery or maintenance.
You can apply for a National Interest Exception if you work in any of the critical infrastructure sectors listed below, or provide vital support for ‘significant economic activity in the US.
Critical Infrastructure Sectors eligible for National Interest Exception are –
The United States critical infrastructure workers of foreign origin are exempt from the Presidential Proclamation 10199 and eligible for National Interest Exception. Indian nationals who work for US businesses in “critical infrastructure” sectors or industries can apply for the NIE travel waiver for entry into the US. The US government has identified 16 industries as critical infrastructure sectors and vital to the American economy. These sectors are:
- Commercial facilities
- Critical manufacturing
- Defence industrial base
- Emergency services
- Financial services
- Food and Agriculture
- Government facilities
- Healthcare and public health
- Information technology
- Nuclear reactors, materials, and waste
- Transportation systems
- Water and wastewater systems
Can I apply for NIE for my parents to travel to the USA?
Everyone who wants their parents to be in the USA with them has the same question. We get introduced to very unfortunate stories of people on daily basis like –
- My father died and I want my mother here or Vice versa
- I am pregnant and I want my parents here
- I am sick and there is no one to take care of me
- I have a newly born child with office work to do, I want my parents
- I am getting married and my parents are not here
- My brother who was taking care of my mother died, and now she is alone in India
- Parents lost their Son/Daughter in the USA and want to visit for last rituals & many more
Well, it is categorically written that NIE will be approved on humanitarian grounds. But are all the above situations ok enough to be approved on humanitarian grounds? Not exactly.
NIE is not getting approved for parents who want to visit the USA for their pregnant daughter or for attending the marriage of their child.
People should refrain from asking for approval for NIE in these cases as it is also making delays for the people who really deserve to get national Interest Exemption (NIE).
You are a US citizen/Green cardholder. Recently, you lost your father and your mother is all alone in India. You want to take her to the US. Though she (on a B2 visa) is not eligible for an NIE waiver, you can seek a National Interest Exception for her on humanitarian grounds. You must justify your request for an NIE for your mother with the maximum possible information and all supporting documents, in your email application to the relevant US consular office in India.
How can I apply for NIE for my parents to travel to the USA?
If you think you are eligible for NIE then You need to attempt NIE approval from the US consulate. You will have to apply at the consulate from where you have already got the visa. If you have got it from US Consulate Chennai, you shall address an email application to ChennaiNIE@state.gov. MumbaiNIE@state.gov for writing to the US Consulate Mumbai, and HyderabadNIE@state.gov for the US Consulate General Hyderabad.
Your email demanding NIE approval for travel to the USA must cover all the below details of you if you are the passenger:
- Last name:
- First name:
- Date of birth (MM-DD-YYYY):
- Place of birth:
- Country of citizenship:
- Passport number:
- Visa Number*:
- Visa Category:
- Issuing Post Name (upper left corner of visa):
- Travel dates (MM-DD-YYYY):
- Travel purpose:
- National interest category:
- Clear justification for receipt of a NIE:
(*The visa number, also known as the visa foil number, is located on the lower right of the visa.)
NIE approvals for travel to the USA, if granted, are valid for 12 months from the date of approval and for multiple entries as long as you use the NIE permit for the purpose under which it is granted to you. If NIE is granted to you, you will get an email authentication.
“Dear Applicant, you have been approved for a national interest exception to Presidential Proclamation 10199 restricting entry to the United States of individuals who have been physically present in India during the pandemic. This exception is approved for travel to the United States and is valid for multiple entries within 12 months from the date of approval.”
If one qualifies for a National Interest Exception due to an urgent need for return travel to the USA from India, however, one is not having a valid visa, one can demand a hurried appointment for visa regeneration via this link. One is required to explain why he/she qualifies for an NIE and on what grounds.
My Parents are not eligible for NIE, what other options do they have to travel to the USA?
If one is denied National Interest Exemption(NIE), and it is an emergency to travel to the USA then indirect routes can be the option. In recent months many people from India and Europe have travelled to the USA via 3rd country routes.
What are indirect 3rd country routes to the USA?
As per the presidential proclamation, anyone who is/was in the restricted country in the last 14 days is not allowed to enter the USA. However, people in restricted countries have found their way to the USA. When someone stays for 14 nights in a 3rd country(which is not restricted) for 14 nights and then travels to the USA then is called 3rd country indirect travel :).
Is 3rd country Indirect travel a legitimate option to travel to the USA?
By staying in 3rd country (Not restricted by the USA) for 14 nights, you are not going to breach any law. It is the legitimate way of travelling to the final destination which is being used by many nationalities. There are many people who have already reached the USA from a 3rd country on a B1/B2 visa
What are the 3rd country routes options that people are using to travel to the USA?
Also, read – Best Indirect routes from India to Canada