How to Apply for NIE – National Interest Exception from India to USA

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This link helps you to understand – How to Apply for NIE – National Interest Exemption in home country to fly to USA (Added info shared by successful folks who did get this NIE)

You might be currently stuck in home country / India – You might have already valid US visa & went to India due to any immediate family emergency etc., & unable to come back to USA directly from India.

You have 2 ways to go to USA from India

We gathered this info from different sources / members who did this & sharing this info for others here

Steps 1) Try for NIE by emailing to consulate where you got your last time stamping which is valid. (Latest update as of Jul 9th 2021 is NIE will be valid for 12 months for multiple entry into USA, previously ) – Detailed info below

Steps 2) If you are unable to get NIE for your valid visa, you can do fly from India & do quarantine stay in mexico city & then travel to USA. Please refer below link for more info ; we already helping clients through this path.


July 8th 2021 Update : (Latest Email from consulate looks like below)

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 related to an outbreak of COVID-19.
This exception is valid for multiple entries into the United States during the 12-month period
noted below for the following individuals only for the purpose of travel for which this NIE was requested:

How to apply for NIE ? (National Interest Exception)

For people stuck in India and not eligible to travel back US due to ban, drope email to NIE (National Intrest exemption) describing your situation or urgency to travel. Genuine cases are exempted from travel ban. They reply as early as 1-2 days. No matter what reason you have just try your luck.

U.S. Embassy New Delhi:
U.S. Consulate General Chennai:
U.S. Consulate General Hyderabad:
U.S. Consulate General Kolkata:
U.S. Consulate General Mumbai:


The email must include the following information for all travelers seeking an exception, as it appears on the visa:

Visa Category:
Issuing Post Name (upper left corner of visa):
Travel dates (MM-DD-YYYY):

Last name:

First name:

Date of birth, in DDMMMYYY format (ie – 01JAN2021):

Gender (M/F):

Country of birth:

Country of citizenship:

Passport number:

Visa Number* and Category:

Travel dates:

Travel purpose and national interest category, including a 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.

Also attached the Passport, Visa and the justification proofs

Each request will be carefully considered as our limited resources allow. Emails in languages other than English may slow response time. We aim to respond to each request within two weeks but cannot guarantee a decision date or the outcome of the decision. Errors in the submitted data may prevent approval in NIE requests.

Please note that national interest exceptions, when granted, are valid for a single entry within 30 days of approval.

Hope this helps.


You will get email like this from consulate once you apply for NIE, you need to take printout and carry

Can F1 apply for NIE ?

Hi Everyone,

I got my NIE (H1B) approved from Chennai consulate on 29th May (Applied on 28th and got approval within 3 hours).
I requested for my dependents (H4) on 29th May, Sent follow-up emails on 30-May, 1st and 2nd June. And I received approval from them at 9 AM this morning.
Planning to travel from Chennai to San Antonio on 19th June.

Thank you all for the information shared. That helped me a lot.

Sharing some Personal experiences from others who were able to use NIE option to enter into USA from India

I and my daughter on H4 visa (both including husband indian citizen) were exempted and traveled back on 8 May. (Pune-Delhi-Chicago) in AI. Make sure you just carry copy of your communication with NIE while traveling. Exemption is updated in system and valid for 30 days. No other document required from NIE to prove your exemption for airline or immigration officer.

Travel experience May 8th 2021
Travelled in Air India, Negative RT-PCR compulsory to travel. Around 120-130 people traveling in Flight. No blankets pillows provided. Only few entertainment screen working. Food was ok not good so carry some snacks. Gown, face shield,mask provided. No Qs for check in, security and immigration. Just fill in health declaration form (provided by airlines) No any extra covid related forms or formalities upon arriving in US. Travel was smooth.

Sharing another successful NIE from kolkatta consulate

Another success story of NIE

Another success story of NIE

Another success story of NIE

Hi – I got NIE approval today for family from chennai – thanks for all the info 👍 Highly appreciate it

Travel date : Jun 4th ,
Reason : Working in supply chain of content as i work un media domain
Just added my roles and responsibilities nothing different and no letter attached

Another success story of NIE

Hi All,
My NIE got approved now from Hyderabad consulate in critical infrastructure category. It took 5days for the approval
Applied: 22 May
Approval: 27 May

Transportation- IT

Another success story of NIE

I successfully reached Newark on H1B+ NIE – travelled on Air India MUM DEL EWR on 21 May

Boarding at Mumbai : Reached the airport 3 hrs before flight. AI officials were completely clueless about the NIE process. They had me wait for an hour (while they got an email confirmation from US authorities) before handing over boarding passes for both legs of the journey.
I recommend keeping an hour of buffer for this process.

Delhi airport : RTPCR test is checked for all passengers
No issues with boarding. Cursory checks.

Note: Carry Print outs of NIE and RTPCR. Both are checked multiple times at different check points.

EWR immigration: I was asked to follow an officer who checked my records asked me questions about my employment.They checked my NIE email, verified against their records. Took them less than 10 minutes to conduct checks. All Clear. Back Home!

Sharing another detailed explanation by one member about getting NIE from Chennai consulate – Importance of Infrastructure- Communications

Hi All,

My husband and Myself got NIE approval from Chennai consulate . We applied for 2 separate NIE’s as we both are in H1b visa.
Note : We didn’t approach our companies for any letter we did the entire writing and any supporting documents by our self . We had a previous employment verification letter mentioning that we work for so and so company from this date in such designation
One of us work in EVC model ( Employee Vendor-> client model ) . So don’t worry if you fall in that category, clearly mention why your physical present is needed, it doesn’t matter if you are Full time employee or a consultant.
1. Time line : Applied NIE on May 14th
We applied under communication sector in critical infrastructure . We have also mentioned that our work helps public health sector as we both work in networking technology which is being used by hospitals for telemedicine .
a. Additional email with more information in the format requested in the auto reply which everyone gets was sent on May 17th, on that same day tried applying for all other consulate got an email reply immediately that I need to apply only in Issuing post which is Chennai.
b. My husband got a reply on May 24th asking for additional information with the below questions
To help us review your NIE request, please explain what your job duties are, and which critical infrastructure sector your work supports (the list of relevant fields is available at Please also explain why your physical presence in the US is required to conduct your work, including an example of a task that cannot be performed remotely.
1. This time he gave the NIE category only as communication Sector. ( copy pasted from the web site and quoted communication sector importance .
2. sent an detailed job description which contained job duties and how much time he spends on each task .( around 2 full pages in MS word )
3. Sent an explanation as below telling why his presence is required as:- Being an employee of XXX and working as a XXX I work in new network equipment introduction in XXX technology which provides high speed internet broadband. For assembling the new network equipment, I need to be physically present in XX labs. As I have knowledge to work in lab which is present in USA
In a similar way sent around 5 examples
4. Example of a task that cannot be performed remotely:
Powering up a new network equipment in a XX lab which needs certified person . Thus my physical presence is essential to perform the above duty which is critical for enabling high speed internet .
Provided 2 more examples like this
5. I sent a reminder on 24th mentioning that we have booked our ticket for 31st of May and sent the ticket also requesting to consider our NIE before our planned date , I also sent an explanation on my own why my work cannot be done without physical presence . I can test the equipments signal strength only within 500 meters etc.
6. I got an approval on 25th .
7. My husband got approval today on 26th .

Thank you for all the help in sharing the information as NIE is totally new even compared to the H1b RFE’s , so every small information shared was useful.

Sharing another detailed explanation by one member about getting NIE

I have shared my experience in bits and pieces earlier. Putting all of them together.
My wife is on H4, stamped and valid from HYD and stuck in India, I’m in USA on H1B working as FTE in IT Healthcare. We don’t have kids. First applied to Delhi NIE on 14th May since there are more chances for approval. Got an auto response immediately and another response on 17th to approach HYD and applied to HYD on 17thwith a plan of travelling on 28th May. No autoresponse but received an email the next day requesting primary applicant’s i-94. Replied the same day but no repose until almost 8 days. Sent a reminder on 20th May and got an auto response asking not to send duplicates. Sent an email to Chennai to try our luck on 26th May but got an auto response and later a response to deal with HYD. Finally got an approval from HYD on 26th May, 5.05pm IST.
In the justification, mentioned about my employer details, field of work, my wife’s H4 visa status , family separation and its effect on our life. Mentioned that my wife has recovered from COVID 19 but didn’t include test results.
Tips based on my research: For H1: Mention about ur employment status, Critical infra, long term, Finance, Health care, medical, Construction etc and a letter from employer if you can get one and why it’s important to be in US.
For H1 & H4: If you had recovered from COVID, mention that and have supporting docs, test results ready. Family separation and its impact on mental and financial status.
Planning to travel next week from HYD – BOM/DEL – USA through United or Air India.
Happy to answer if you have any questions. All the best!

Sharing another detailed explanation by one member about getting NIE

NIE travel experience- Support to critical infrastructure (IT dept under insurance client EVC model) – H1B visa

i applied for NIE at New Delhi on May 19th at night (visa was issued here)
within 5mins received automated response
On 21st afternoon i received the approval
I booked a flight scheduled within a weeks time.
Travel Date 26th May
1) Hyd to Delhi was via vistara
process was pretty smooth, they took about 10mins to verify NIE and checked the RTPCR (seemed like they werent familiar with NIE but gave okay as the email was from the embassy- counter person had to call their manager to confirm) They provided me with all 3 boarding passes(under vistara name) and mentioned that the luggage would be checked thru till destination and I wouldn’t have to collect the bag until DFW (this wasnt 100% true)
2) as soon as i landed in Delhi – all were given a self declaration form at arrival..pretty straight forward with basic questions also to show the RTPCR report.
3)DEL- EWR Went to United Check in counter – again they verified NIE (took less than 1min) gave me new boarding passes that was issued on united name. And mentioned that since my first POE is Newark i had to collect my bag, complete customs and drop it off at one of the transfer belts.
4) The flight must have been only 40% filled, had enough space to actually sleep easily for each passenger (this was told by the cabin crew)
5) Landed at EWR – went directly for immigration (officer just took passport and asked me to go to Second room – i got nervous but the process was very easy and smooth inside) all they asked inside was for i797, made me sit for 10mins , no questions asked and then i was good to go , they did stamp my passport with validity of my h1b. (no one asked for NIE or RTPcr report after arrival in the US)

collected my baggage , completed customs and dropped off the bag at transfer belt for EWR to DFW flight.

Waiting for DFW flight now!!

Good luck to all. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions!!

Sharing another successful NIE

Hi all,

Sharing my NIE experience –

I’m on H1-B and my wife’s on H4.

I applied for NIE at Delhi and Mumbai consulates and received approval from both.

NIE focus was mainly on

  • To return to my job(covid related) in the IT sector and wife is completely dependent on me.
    I got an approval in 4-5 days.

Traveled from India on May 29th and just reached home in US by United.
Mumbai – Delhi – San Francisco
At Mumbai airport(Vistara Airlines) they verified NIE and gave me boarding passes. I had to again go to United check-in counter in Delhi where they made me fill US address details, saw NIE email, RT PCR report and made me fill a self attestation forum regarding covid.

Airport was not empty maybe because of the weekend. Indian Immigration was super quick. Just asked me reason for travel to US. They did another small check at boarding gate. Flight was 75% full.

Immigration At SFO airport. Asked me reason for visit, if I’m carrying money, food or plants. Then as soon as she found out I’m on NIE for me escorted to secondary room.

They just made me wait in secondary room. After 5-7 minutes, they called me, handed me my passport and cbp form and told me I’m all set. When I got out the room, the officer took the cbp form.

Then baggage claim and I’m home now.

It was a really comfortable and smooth and everyone seemed aware of NIE.

Sharing another successful NIE

Hii Everyone, I reached my destination from delhi to paso(wa) via Newark. Here is my experience.

I have applied for NIE on grounds of family separation( I am newly married. So mentioned that I am away from my husband for more than 2 months and also I am covid recovered and cases at my place are very less, so I will not be a threat to anyone. Got approval within 30 hrs.(1.5 days)

Travelled via United Airline on June 1.
At Delhi airport United guys just checked my NIE, Rt-Pcr and wrote my destination address and gave me boarding passes.

  1. At Indian immigration – asked me are you travelling on H4 ? and asked me to add my husband’s name on my passport for next time.
    While boarding they again checked Rt-pcr, NIE and asked me if I have any relative in USA other than my husband. So I said no.
    After reaching EWR at POE officer took my passport, called someone and said yes on H4 so should I send her back( after hearing this I was scared) then she asked me if I have NIE. So I gave her NIE copy. She took my docs and took me to second room where I have waited for 15 min.
    Then officer called my name and handed me over my stamped passport and it’s done.
    All the best to everyone.

Sharing another detailed explanation by one member about getting NIE

Travel experience : BOM- DOHA- ATLANTA , travelling with NIE , Qatar airways. 1st June

  1. I reached about 4 hours before the departure , Qatar airlines was aware of NiE , they sent it for checking with embassy, that took about an hour so reaching well ahead of time came in handy, also it was 31st May holiday in US so that could have contributed to additional time
  2. They also checked covid report rt-pcr and were focusing on test taken time which should be strictly 48 hours or less , they asked few people to take the test again at the airport those who didn’t fall under 48 hours category
  3. Luggage check : At Mumbai airport at least they check every ounce of luggage when it comes to Qatar , this was true for me . Hand luggage allowance is 7 kg for economy and this includes the laptop bag , they weigh everything and do not allow excess weight unless you are willing to spend an exorbitant amount , so allowing some time to take care of your checkin and hand carry baggage, should the things go south will also come in handy.
  4. Security and immigration at BOM were pretty smooth , BOM- DOHA flight was completely full and mediocre at best
  5. Security at DOHA was also smooth , they didn’t ask any questions about NIE
  6. DOHA- ATL flight was a whole lot better than the earlier flight , it was operating at about 50% capacity, but overall good flight with courteous crew
  7. ATL immigration queue was pretty big and with not a lot of officers in attendance, it turned a little chaotic , but the officer just asked where are you going to live in Atlanta and that’s it, immigration was done .

This group has been supremely helpful all steps of the way , thank you each and every one of you for helping out. I will be exiting the group in little bit , please DM if you have questions. Once again thanks a bunch !!!

Published by Helping Hands

We are working to help folks on H1B, H4 or any US Visa from US while they plan to attend visa interview at Any US Consulate