By Chris Musillo

On December 15, 2021, The Department of State (DOS), provided updated guidance in regards to National Interest Exemptions (NIEs).

The DOS confirmed that only in extremely rare circumstances will NIEs be granted for travelers subject to the Southern Africa travel ban, Presidential Proclamation 10315 (PP 10315). The DOS stated that the bar is very high for a NIE for PP 10315 and some posts will not even be accepting NIE requests, due to the very high standard.

Those seeking an NIE under the PP 10315 should contact the local post and provide as much information as possible to request a NIE to PP 10315. DOS confirmed that only under extreme or urgent circumstances, where the visa applicant documents a clear humanitarian need, or where the issue is clearly within the national interest of the United States will a NIE be granted.

In addition, the DOS confirmed that NIEs are no longer valid that were granted under Presidential Proclamations that have been rescinded.