National Interest Exceptions

National Interest Exceptions for Presidential Proclamations Related to COVID-19

 

All applicants traveling to the Unites States from Slovakia are subject to Presidential Proclamation 10143 and require a National Interest Exemption (NIE), including travelers who already have a valid U.S. Visa or ESTA.  NIEs will only be considered for applicants who are physically present in Slovakia at the time of application.

Your MRV fee (visa application fee) is valid for at least one year, and possibly longer, from the date of payment, in the country where it was purchased.

Presidential Proclamation 10143 of January 25, 2021, continues to suspend entry of foreign nationals who were physically present within the Schengen Area, including Slovakia, within 14 days prior to their entry or attempted entry into the United States. Travelers who transit a designated country, even if they do not leave the airport, will also be refused entry into the United States.  One option currently available for travelers with a valid visa or ESTA is to spend at least 14 days in a country not subject to any Covid-19 Presidential Proclamations and then to travel directly to the United States.  Do not transit any countries subject to the Covid-19 PPs on your way to the U.S.

F1 and M1 visa holders and dependents who already have valid visas and I-20s may return to the United States without receiving confirmation of a National Interest Exception from the U.S. Embassy. They must still meet all Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) requirements.

TRAVELERS EXEMPT FROM TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS: Presidential Proclamation 10143 does NOT apply to U.S. citizens, U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents (green card holders), immediate family members of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents such as spouses, children under 21, and parents of U.S. citizen minor children, and other individuals specifically identified in the proclamation. These applicants can proceed directly to the airport but should carry supporting documentation such as LPR cards, marriage certificates, birth certificates, or other documents that prove you are exempt from PP 10143. Unfortunately, unmarried partners and extended family, including parents of adult U.S. citizen children, and grandparents of U.S. citizens, are not exempt.

NATIONAL INTEREST EXCEPTIONS: Other travelers from Schengen countries can be excepted if, after determination by a consular officer, they qualify as a National Interest Exemption (NIE).  Individuals eligible to apply for an NIE may include, but are not limited to, travelers receiving lifesaving medical treatment, travelers providing humanitarian care for a close family member in lawful status in the Unites States, senior-level managers and executives who provide strategic direction necessary for the success of a company in the U.S.; investors in the U.S. economy; travelers receiving training for or performing specialized technical installation or maintenance; some technical specialists on short work trips; journalists; students; professional athletes; and certain academic and U.S.-government funded exchange visitors.  

Note that if you are applying for a J, H, or L visa you may need to meet the separate National Interest Exception criteria to PP 10052, instead of or in addition to the above criteria for PP 10143.

If you believe that you qualify for a National Interest Exception, please send the below information and documents to consulbratislava@state.gov.  If you do not receive a response within 3 days, please submit a new request.   Note that if approved, National Interest Exception will be valid only for one entry to the U.S. within 30 days of approval.  For subsequent entries or entries after 30 days from the initial approval, you will need to submit a new request.

  • Name as it appears in passport
  • Date of birth (01-JAN-2000)
  • Country of citizenship
  • Country of birth
  • Purpose of travel
  • Passport number
  • Date of proposed entry to the United States
  • Phone #
  • photo/scan of your passport bio page
  • photo/scan of your valid visa/ESTA authorization
  • Additional supporting documentation, such as letter outlining your qualifications and travel purpose

 

If you have an urgent matter and need to travel immediately, please indicate your urgency in the subject line of your application to ConsulBratislava@state.gov.