DOS Secretary made a national interest determination regarding categories of travelers eligible for exceptions under regional COVID proclamations, including the April 30, 2021, proclamation restricting the entry of nonimmigrant travelers who have been physically present in India:
• Immigrants (not applicable to the restrictions under the April 30, India Proclamation, which only covers nonimmigrant travel)
• Students and certain academics covered by exchange visitor programs. Students subject to these geographic COVID proclamations due to their presence in India, China, Iran, Brazil, or South Africa, may qualify for a National Interest Exception only if their academic program begins August 1, 2021 or later.
• Travelers who are seeking to provide vital support for critical infrastructure sectors.
• Pilots and aircrew traveling to the United States for training or aircraft pickup, delivery, or maintenance, including individuals who are traveling to the United States on B-1/B-2, B-1, or M-1 visas, or Visa Waiver Program authorizations. This also include certain M-2 dependents when the principal’s necessary training is four weeks or more.
• Certain exchange visitors
• Derivative family members accompanying a noncitizen who is excepted from or otherwise not subject to the Proclamation and who is engaging in certain types of long-term employment, studies, or research of four weeks or longer.
Per DOS, NIEs are also available to qualified travelers seeking to enter the United States for purposes related to humanitarian travel, public health response, and national security.
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