by John Dawson
Musillo Unkenholt LLC


The Department of State released guidance on national interest exceptions to Presidential Trump’s April and June 2020 immigration bans which suspended the entry of certain immigrant visa applicants, applicants for H-1B, H-2B, L-1 visa, certain J-1 visa applicants, and spouses or children applying for H-4, L-2, or J-2 visas through December 31, 2020.
A final determination regarding a visa applicant’s eligibility for a national interest exception will be made at the Embassy or Consulate interview.
The following, among others, will be considered for a national interest exception for H-1B and L-1 visa applicants:
  1. Public health or healthcare professionals, or researchers to alleviate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, or to conduct ongoing medical research in an area with a substantial public benefit. This includes those traveling to alleviate secondary impacts not directly related to COVID-19, but adversely impacted by the pandemic.
  2. Those requested to come to the U.S. by a U.S. government agency to meet critical U.S. foreign policy objectives or to satisfy treaty or contractual obligations.
  3. Applicants entering the US to resume ongoing employment with the same employer in the same position and visa category.
  4. Technical specialists, senior level managers, and other workers whose travel is necessary to facilitate the immediate and continued economic recovery of the U.S.
  5. Senior level executive or manager filling a critical business need of an employer meeting a critical infrastructure need.
If the principal applicant qualifies for a national interest exception, any accompanying dependents will be able to receive the corresponding H-4, L-2, or J-2 visa. Applicants who are subject to aging out of their current immigrant visa classification by January 14, 2021 can contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to request an emergency appointment.
If you need to travel internationally and you believe you may qualify for a national interest exception please contact your MU attorney.