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 9993 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 up to one year from the date of payment, in the country where it was purchased.

Presidential Proclamation 9993 of March 14, 2020, 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.

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 9993 does NOT apply to U.S. citizens, U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents (green card holders), immediate family members of U.S. citizens 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 their supporting documentation such as LPR card, marriage certificate, birth certificates or other documents that prove you are exempt from PP9993. 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.  

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 (MM/DD/YYYY)
  • 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.