Home » US Visa Stamping Experiences » National Interest Exception(NIE):14 Experiences, Letters H1B, H4

National Interest Exception(NIE):14 Experiences, Letters H1B, H4

As many of you know US has banned travelers from India, if they have spent 14 days in India before the travel. You can apply for US Visa or travel to US, only if you fall under exceptions for travel ban or fall under National Interest Exception(NIE). Also, even if you have visa stamped in passport, you need to email Consulate and get NIE in email before you fly.

Many of our readers, users on telegram groups (anonymous for privacy), who applied for NIE were kind enough to share their experiences and NIE Letter templates and guidance for H1B Visa, H4 Visa. Thanks a lot to all of them for sharing their NIE experiences with the community.

What is National Interest Exception (NIE) ? NIE Critical Infrastructure List ?

National Interest Exception (NIE) is nothing but an exception given by the US Dept of State that exempts individuals from the Presidential Proclamation. US Department of state gives the list of who all falls under NIE based on the US National Interest and humanitarian grounds. To get a full list of people who fall under NIE, and general process check the below articles.

Once you get NIE, you need to travel to US within 30 days as per the guidance given by the US consulates and US Embassies across the globe, including India. Check Travel to US with NIE – 30 days Rule.

Now that we have some understanding on the NIE and criteria, let’s look user experiences and NIE Letter templates.

Experience 1 : NIE Experience H1B end-to-end : Letter, Travel to US

Background : I’m an H1B holder with a stamped US Visa from the Mumbai Consulate. I have been on H1B since 2011. I currently work in the financial services industry in an investment analysis and client facing role and would classify myself as mid level management. I traveled to India on April 26th for my fathers funeral and couldn’t leave before May 4th. 

National Interest Exception Application for Travel to US

I applied for my NIE on May 8th to Mumbai Consulate where my visa was stamped. I received approval on May 12th. My application was certainly a long shot in my view because I did not think I classified as “vital support” but I thought I would try anyway because there was no harm in applying. It doesn’t hurt to apply per my research on this topic.

Sample Letter Format for NIE Request for H1B Visa – Financial Services

For my application, I filled out the standard fields listed on the consulate website as below.

  • Last name : XXX
  • First name: XXX
  • Date of birth: XXX
  • Place of birth: XXX
  • Country of citizenship: XXX
  • Passport number: XXX
  • Visa Number* and Category: XXX
  • Travel dates: XXX
  • Travel Purpose and National Interest Category that you fall under with clear justification of the same : XXXX. ( see below )

The travel justification was the most important field in my view. In this field I wrote about 2-3 paragraphs. Below are the topics I covered in the letter. I did not had any official letter from the HR or my company.

  • I explained the circumstances of my travel.
  • I discussed my work in financial services which is labeled as a critical infrastructure industry per CISA
  • I mentioned my office remained open during the pandemic from March 2020 for essential employees and I was deemed an important employee by company (I have heard others get letters from their HR department to cement their case but I did not have one). Having established my firm a critical infrastructure firm.
  • I went on to explain how I provide “vital support” to the firm. I discussed my role briefly and mentioned the clients I work with include healthcare firms, US public govt pensions and firms in other critical infrastructure industries.
  • I would find a way to link your work to these end clients in your application.
  • I also mentioned i cannot do my role remotely due to the H1B regulations that prevent us from working outside the country and I mentioned how my aforementioned clients would be worse off without the work I do for them.
  • I summarized this by saying I believe it is in the national interest for me to be present in the country to continue this important work etc.
  • Documents Attached : I attached my US visa copy and India passport copy. 

Response from Mumbai consulate as below :  I also asked them what documents I need and they mentioned that a copy of this email will suffice for travel and entry to US. 

Email from Consulate with NIE Approval
Email from Consulate with NIE Approval

 Side Note: Another contact I have who applied for NIE on B1/B2 got declined but the consulate response encouraged them to find a path to spend 14 days in a third country before entering the US. 

Travel to US, Port of Entry Experience: 

  • I flew from Delhi on May 21st – it was a direct flight from India to US.
  • There was a quick secondary check at check in within the airline staff if I could fly on H1B w/ NIE exemption – they didn’t look at the letter from consulate very closely – and issued my boarding pass.
  • I did carry the NIE exceptions language from State website and the airline policy language stating passengers should carry documentation relevant to their case for entry, in case there were issues. The letter wasn’t checked again by airline staff. 
  • Upon landing, I went to immigration officer to who I mentioned I am traveling on H1B with a NIE exemption. The first one asked purpose of trip to India and then if I was in contact with anyone who was sick.
  • He then asked me to follow him and took me to another officers booth toward the right hand side of the hall.
  • The 2nd officer asked me fairly standard questions for entry to US
    • 1) purpose of trip to US
    • 2) what I do at my job and how long i have worked there
    • 3) how much cash am I carrying
    • 4) was i carrying any food.
  • I asked him if he needed the printed out copy of my NIE exemption letter and he said no, he had it on his system.
  • He then stamped my passport and I was in. Check US Port of Entry Process for more info
  • Customs was stopping several people specifically asking if we were carrying food, meat and vegetables (to a much higher degree than they usually do). 

Final Thoughts : I hope this provides some detail on the process and what to include on the NIE application. It is a low risk option to try so I would certainly recommend applying if you work in a critical infrastructure industry and trying as much as you can to create a link between your work and the impact on your company/clients ongoing functioning. It is a very stressful time for those stuck in India – my best wishes to those applying for this or finding a way out through a third country. 

Experience 2 : NIE Sample Letter for H1B Visa – Approval Experience

Shared by Pratik

Background for NIE : I work in semi conductor manufacturing industry. I did some research and asked my immigration lawyers of the company to see if I qualify. I emailed HR and immigration lawyers and got the relevant letter to attach with NIE request. I emailed the Mumbai consualte the below letter with all the relevant information as mentioned by them as below and attached the supporting NIE letter sent by my company .

NIE Email Information Sent

  • Last name : XXX
  • First name: XXX
  • Date of birth: XXX
  • Place of birth: XXX
  • Country of citizenship: XXX
  • Passport number: XXX
  • Visa Number* and Category: XXX
  • Travel dates: XXX
  • Travel Purpose and National Interest Category that you fall under with clear justification of the same :  Working on H1B in US for XXX and fall under “vital support for critical infrastructure sectors”. Please find the attached letter from my company for NIE.

List of Documents Submitted

  • Employment Verification letter 
  • Letter stating which area the company serves in from the Company HR  ( NIE Letter )

National Interest Exception (NIE) Letter for H1B

You need to get the below letter in company letter head signed by the relevant company authorized person with contact info for verification, if needed.
Date : XXX
To Whom it May Concern:
The frontline essential worker XXXX (the “Employee”) presenting this letter is currently employed by XXX Inc., formerly known as XXX, located at 5825 XXX, Oregon XXX (the Facility). In reviewing the Oregon state and federal guidance set out below and the eligibility requirements for vaccination listed in the Oregon “Get Vaccinated Oregon” COVID-19 Vaccination Plan (the “Vaccination Plan”), XXXX confirms that the Employee (i) is classified as a “critical worker in a high risk setting” or “frontline worker” employed by an essential manufacturer, and (ii) meets the eligibilities requirements for vaccination in Phase 1B Group 7 of the Vaccination Plan.

As some background, XXXX manufactures specialty chemicals required by the semiconductor and microelectronics industries to build products and materials needed for advanced technological devices, including healthcare-related devices and more general computing technology. The XXX’ facility located in XXX, Oregon is considered “Essential Businesses and Operations.” At the federal level, pursuant to the most recent guidance issued on December 16, 2020 by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency of the Department of Homeland Security, the Chemical Sector and Critical Manufacturing Sector supported by XXX’ manufacturing activities are specifically designated as Essential Critical Infrastructure upon which a wide range of other critical infrastructure sectors rely.
Please contact the following XXX management personnel if you have any questions about this letter or XXX’ operations in general

Processing time after Submitting NIE Request : The Consulate in Mumbai took 9 days to process the request and approved my NIE Request. Below is the sample approval email

NIE Approval Email from Consulate to Travel to US


Please carry a copy of this e-mail while travelling. 

We wish to advise you of an approval for the following individual(s) of an exception to the April 30, 2021 Presidential Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry as Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting Coronavirus Disease 2019. 


This exception has been registered in our systems, is valid for 30 days from the date of approval, and is valid for a single entry only to the United States. As many flights continue to be cancelled on a regular basis, we recommend you attempt to travel as soon as possible so that the approval does not expire before you can travel. As long as the April 30, 2021, Presidential Proclamation is in place, an exception will be required for travel to the United States directly from India or from any of the other countries listed in other presidential proclamations. 

Please also be advised that admission into the United States remains subject to a determination by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at ports of entry and that you also may be subject to a 14-day quarantine upon arrival to the United States. This approval does not exempt travelers from U.S. COVID-19-related entry requirements. 

U.S. Consulate General Mumbai

Suggestions for anyone applying for NIE

Talk to company and read the critical infra list by department of state in detail. It lists the different areas which might include yours too. For example: if you work in software which helps in maintained of a factory you might be included in providing critical support to manufacturing.  So make your case accordingly.  Check CISA website Document for full list & Details

If you are looking for more letters, format for applying for NIE for H1B, you can read National Interest Exception Letter Samples for H1B, Format

Experience 3 :NIE Experience with H1B Visa, Travel to US

Background : I came to India on April 17, 2021 to attend a personal matter. I was eligible for dropbox so submitted my documents for dropbox at Chandigarh due to lockdown in New Delhi, got my visa stamped in 1 week. I had change of employer and I was fearing that I will get 221g but fortunately didn’t face any issue.

Applying for NIE for H1B Visa : After the ban almost made my mind to travel to Mexico but after seeing some folks mention NIE applied for NIE.

  • I sent NIE email on Tuesday night at around 11PM and got approval by Wednesday 10:30 AM. I work for a cloud and data center technology and category was critical infrastructure – information technology sector. Mainly followed below for justification
  • 2 lines about my total experience. Next 3 lines about my profiles and company and project details. 5 bullet points about my JD. And last 3 lines about why it’s critical.
  • My travel date in NIE email was 21 but travelled on 23rd May. Took 2 COVID test at labs in Delhi on 20th evening and got results by next day. The timing was within 72 hours.

Travel to US : Travel was via united airlines from Delhi to SFO. I reached airport 6 hour before just to be on safe side. To get boarding pass they asked for NIE email and COVID test and gave boarding pass immediately. Unlike other people no call to Anyone I guess. Nothing at India emigration. At US POE I was asked why I travelled to India and where do I work and was allowed. It felt just like other times. Also there was no rush at US POE, obviously because very few people are traveling.

Experience 4 : NIE H1B, H4, Travel from Chennai to SFO Experience

  • My husband is on H1-B and I am on H4. He applied for NIE for the Chennai consulate we waited for 7 days. On the 7th day, we attached a more recent employment letter that is specifically tailored for NIE and replied to them. After 2 more days, we got approved.
  • So we booked the flight from Chennai -> Delhi -> SFO.
  • Took the Covid RT-PCR test with Metropolis Lab’s home collection that contained the QR code. Got the report on the same day. Took the flight on Sunday evening from Chennai through Air India.
  • In Chennai Air India, they were not aware of NIE and didn’t allow us to board initially. They said they will give a boarding pass only to Delhi as a Domestic flight and said they can’t transfer the baggage for international travel. We were asked to sign a letter saying we will not dispute Air India if we can’t board in Delhi and collect our baggage in Delhi Aiport.
  • We agreed and finally, we boarded the flight to Delhi. After landing in Delhi, we took the baggage and came to the international departure at the United Airlines counter. There they asked for NIE and Covid test. Within 5 minutes they give the boarding pass and checked in the baggage. United Airlines are well aware of the NIE document and the customer service was great. I would definitely recommend United Airlines over Air India.
  • After 7 hours of layover in Delhi, we took the SFO flight and landed in San Francisco. The immigration was smooth but a long process.
  • They asked for the passport and I-797, they took everyone without a US passport or Green Card to the Secondary Room. My husband talked with a different Immigration Officer, where they asked the purpose of travel and why his physical presence in the US is required.
  • They also confirmed that we took a direct flight from Delhi and confirmed the US Address. The officer stamped the passport but kept it in a glass box with a lock. We were asked to collect the baggage and go through customs to check the luggage with the scan.
  • They were sending everyone from the Secondary to customs to check on the luggage. Our baggage check was smooth. Make sure you don’t bring any canned sweets like Rasagula and spices like Jeera. After that, they gave us a passport and we could finally go home.

Experience 5 : NIE for H1B, H4 – Two Separate Requests –

Background : 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.

  • Time line : Applied NIE on May 14th.
  • NIE Reason : 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 https://www.cisa.gov/critical-infrastructure-sectors). 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.
  • This time he gave the NIE category only as communication Sector. https://www.cisa.gov/communications-sector ( copy pasted from the web site and quoted communication sector importance.
  • Sent a detailed job description which contained job duties and how much time he spends on each task .( around 2 full pages in MS word )
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • I got an approval on 25th .
  • 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.

Experience 6 – NIE Request, Telecom Sector, Travel

  • Reached USA on NIE on June 1, 2021 and resumed office today.
  • Work for telecom sector and handle key projects on which there is dependency of other critical sectors as well.
  • NIE Request Mumbai :
    • Based on a letter from my Employer applied for NIE at Mumbai consulate on 05/25 with travel date of 05/30 and was approved on 05/26.
    • Also gave details for my wife. Along with employer letter had attached itinerary and copies of US vaccination record for me & my wife.
  • Had Air India tickets for 05/30 but canceled them and booked on United BOM EWR on 05/31
  • Took RT PCR on 05/29 got negative result for me and my wife on same day.
  • Travel Check Mumbai : At Mumbai airport, United staff was aware of NIE requirements. After checking NIE printout ( consulate approval as well as my original mail ) they gave us boarding passes.
  • US Port of Entry Experience : At POE in Newark I was asked questions such as :
    • which Company I work for
    • how many years I am with this Company, and job duties.
    • Asked my wife why she came to US, to which she answered accompanying spouse.
    • I thought it was over then suddenly the officer got up and told us to accompany him to the secondary inspection room.
    • The room had at least 50 other travelers.
    • My passport and my wife’s passport was kept in plastic bags and we were asked to wait. After some time I was called and asked on what ground I was seeking an exception, was it because I had a US kid.
    • I said I handle critical projects for my Company. He then asked for the NIE mail and again asked me to sit. After about half an hour he called out my name and handed both my & my wife’s passports, and said we are good to go.
    • As soon as we stepped out of the room we were asked to deposit the customs form, after which we made our way home.
    • All the best to everyone waiting to return to USA

Experience 7- Automotive – Second email for NIE Approved

Background : I had recently applied for NIE for me and my wife, I’m on H1B and my wife is on H4.Earlier We were in USA on L1b and L2. In mid april 2021 we both came to India for H1B and H4 visa stamping in Chennai. We got our stamping in the end of April. After that travel ban happened. I didn’t know how to travel back and did not had hope on NIE approval, then I found your group, based on NIE experience in this group I have applied to Chennai consulate, with

  1. Passport details
  2. Visa details
  3. Employer letter requesting NIE
  4. Wrote details as below
    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:
    Visa Expiration date:
    Issuing Post Name (upper left corner of visa):
    Exact Travel dates:
    Travel purpose and national interest category, including a clear justification for receipt of a NIE: Explanation to support our case

Our company does work in the sectors like Automotive, aviation, communication sectors. Based on these details I had applied on May 29th for me and my wife.
I got approval June 4th for both of us.

Second Email: In the first email I got an auto reply saying if answers for my request is there in that email then I will not get any response. I was not confident on that, then I took initiation and wrote them with some more details to support our request on June 3rd. Then on June 4th I got reply saying that we are approved for NIE.

I feel secondary email is helpful to get their attention on the request.May be it will be helpful for some people who are stuck and don’t know how to travel back to US.

Experience 8 – NIE Letter Template Approach – Internet Infra

My company provided a letter on the company letter head with following details.

1) started with employment verification details, role, location etc.
2) mentioned how company contributes to IT critical infrastructure, like how it helps the internet, provides IT infra to local businesses etc. Also mentioned the impact of company on the US economy.
3) That I am willing to return to continue my work as soon as visa and nie are approved.
4) how my roles and responsibilities help the company support the IT infrastructure.
5) lastly requesting VO to consider my application and statement saying company supports this request.

Note that the letter is not Important for in person interview as VO will ask all the questions to get the information out of you.

Experience 9 – NIE Letter Sample – Approved from Delhi

NIE from Delhi consulate approved on June 22nd in 12 hours. Below is the format used.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I had to make an urgent journey to India as [ENTERY YOUR REASON HERE]. I plan to travel back to the United States on July 10th, 2021, to help my employer [ENTER BRIEF EMPLOYER INFO]

I work as a Software Development Engineer at [EMPLOYER, TEAM AND JOB INFO]



I am fully vaccinated with 2 doses of Pfizer Vaccine.

Accordingly, I, respectfully requests a National Interest Exception to Presidential Proclamation 10199, so that I may travel from the India to work in the United States immediately to provide vital support to critical infrastructure and help the US government with the Climate Pledge.

Personal Details

Last name : XXX
First name: XXX
Date of birth: XXX
Place of birth: XXX
Country of citizenship: India
Passport number: XXX
Visa Number* and Category: XXX
Travel dates: 7/10/2021
Travel Purpose and National Interest Category that you fall under with clear justification of the same : Information Technology

PFA copy of my vaccination proof.

Very truly yours,

6 Experiences – NIE Approved for H4 – Family Separation

NIE Experience 1 – Chennai – H4 Visa

  • My NIE experience submitted to Chennai. I am in US and applied for wife wife and kid
  • 5/13- Sent email for Family Separation
  • Only family separation details + my I-94 visa etc. No details my works
    5/18- Received email asking to demonstrate the spouse exception for NIE as well(Even when I am already in US) with task details why it has to be done in US physically
  • 5/19- Replied with task details along with supporting letter from company. I work for Emergency services projects
  • 5/23(Sunday)- Received NIE for both my wife and kid.
  • I was planning to send reminder on Monday morning
  • My suggestion – while applying for family separation include the details of work as well for NIE so we don’t have to send details again and it adds additional time

NIE Experience 2 – Chennai – H4 Visa

  • I got NIE approval from Chennai.
  • I work for a retail company and my job involves working on supporting front line works. But I’ve applied on Family separation reason.
  • I’ve requested NIE for my wife and kid. I’m already in US. Applied for NIE on May 14th to Chennai consulate.
  • Received a reply asking for my Job duties on 17th. Responded on same day. I thought of sending a follow up on Monday but Received approval today.
  • But in the approval mail they mentioned only my details.
  • I was little disappointed and replied asking NIE for my wife and daughter just to confirm. They immediately replied with all three of us are exempted.

NIE Experience 3 – NIE Approval without any Documents – H4

  • Hi All, I applied for NIE at Chennai Consulate yesterday and got the approval today for me and my dependents (wife and 2 kids). I came for India on a vacation got stuck due to this travel ban..
  • I did not expect at this speed.. I have given the travel date as 2nd June..
  • I am working for Infosys and working for a retail client.. I applied for NIE under IT sector.. I just sent an email from my yahoo account without any documents..

NIE Experience 4 – New Delhi H4 Email, Letter Sent and text

  • Sent all basic information and got it approved for family separation from Delhi. Used below as the text as reason for family seperation
  • Travel purpose and national interest category, including a clear justification for receipt of a NIE: My spouse, who has a non immigrant H1B visa, is currently in New Jersey, USA. I had traveled to India for a medical emergency in my family. I have a valid H4 visa and a travel ticket from New Delhi to USA for 16 may, 2021. I have to travel back to the USA to support my spouse. Please consider this as a case of family separation and help by providing an exception from the new presidential proclamation.

NIE Experiences 5 & 6 – H4 Visa

  • Experience 5 : Got NIE approval from Hyderabad based on Family separation. I am on H4, applied on 6th May then again on 13th May and sent few reminders after that they asked to share I94 of primary H1 holder
  • Experience 6 : Got NIE approval from Hyderabad..purely based on Family separation, applied on 13th May..got approval around 2.00pm today…

What email subject to use for NIE Request email to consulate ?

You can use something like “Request for National Interest Exception(NIE) under category – Supporting Critical IT Infrastructure, H1B”. Depending on the purpose, you can change the purpose and add visa type in it.

If I get US Visa Annotated with Annotation “NIE UNDER ALL P.P.S ON NOVEL CORONAVIRUS”, do I still need to email ?

No need, if you are traveling within 30 days from the US Visa issuance date. If you are traveling after 30 days, then you need to email the consulate and get approval email.

What has been your experience with NIE ? How as your travel ? Share your experiences in comments below.


Other Articles


  1. Hi All, i had applied for NIE on 14th July and my visa is expiring this month. I have still not received the approval. If my visa expires can i still expect approval from NIE? Or must i re-apply for fresh NIE after renewal and stamping?

  2. NIE approved at Mumbai Consulate under “Executive guidance under Commercial facilities Sector”.
    Applied July 12 – Approved July 28!

    I have a question for those who have traveled back to US from India.
    “With the approved NIE, is it possible to transit through another banned country like UK? I want to transit at London, but I am not sure the NIE for India is applicable to the ban in UK. Although the language the in the approval letter says, this exception is for all countries listed in the presidential proclamation issued on April 30, 2021.”

    I would really appreciate to know about your experience in that matter. Thanks!

  3. Hi all, Got approval from Chennai consulate after 55 days since first email… multiple reminders sent but they replied to one of the emails sent in the 1st of week of July.

    • I applied on July 7 – Chennai consulate. Mentioned July 31 as travel date. I still have not received any reply. Sent 2 reminders. For the second reminder, I got the automatic reply.

    • Hi Sukanya, I am also planning to go to india in October and I am also on H4. Did you get approval for NIE? What reasons did u give for NIE?

  4. Hello All

    I am really thankful to the experiences you people are posting as got NIE approved from delhi 2 days back . I got approval with in 5 days .

    I mentioned why physical presence is required explaining and what would be the impact based on I797 and actual work I do .

    Also create genuine link between your work and end client that how it would impact them if you are not there to perform your H1B roles and responsiblities

    I am thankful to each and every comment posted on this group . I would request everybody to try as genuine cases will be approved

    I have one query to the people , As NIE are getting approved for a year if somebody visa is expiring in next 5 months then can that person book a Expediated appointment based on NIE approval he got as it is valid for 1 year and his work comes under National interest Category ..Please answer to this question

    Rest Anybody has any question I will try to answer ..Thx to this community


  5. Can anyone reply me…. if i have valid H1B Visa (stamped on jan 20) and not travelled to US on it… Now trying to apply for NIE for critical infrastructure…. Can anyone please tell how the Employer supporting document should look like…

  6. I have applied NIE on July, 7th. with Bonified Employment letter and NIE Letter – Chennai consulate. Still i didn’t get any response from Chennai consulate. Can we send any remainder email for any suggestions please.
    Thanks & Regards,
    Prakash Bhavani Subramaniam.
    M : +91 93601 94005

  7. Any one is receiving any update on NIE approval from Mumbai consulate? I have applied on 11th Jul.. no updates received yet.

      • Hi, I have a valid H1B visa and currently in India. Planning to travel to Mexico to stay there for 14 days and return to US from there. Is traveling to Mexico from India transiting through US allowed ? Was talking to United airlines and the agent said it is not allowed and I will be dined boarding the flight if booked. The itinerary would be Hyderabad- New Delhi – Newark – Cancun. Thanks.

  8. Recived mail from Chennai nei team to send additional information for reviewing the nie request.again to get mail from them for approval any idea I will receive the mail

    • Hi Vishnu,
      when did you applied NIE initially? what kind of information they requested to send again?
      Someone in the comment section they commented about the timelines , please check the comment section you would get an idea.

      • I applied for the NIE in Chennai consulate on 14th of this month. Got an automated email as a reply. I then sent an reminder email also. But haven’t got any update from them yet. Still hopeful and waiting to get the email.

    • Hi Vishnu..

      I send initial request to chennai on july 1st…reason as family seperation..then they asked for additional details on 13th july..yet to receive the approval..still waiting…

  9. Do anyone got NIE approval from Chennai Consulate this week for July date applied? I saw someone posted for July 1 got approval on July 22.. Anyone waiting in July month also reply so that we could know the trend and make us to guess are we in line in coming weeks.
    I applied on July 14..still no updates

    • I applied for my wife and kids on 11th July to Chennai consulate and got response on 16th July asking primary applicant(mine) work duties to requires physical presence in the United States. I replied on same day. No update yet.

    • Thank You all for the Response. I have consolidated whoever has replied over here about the status. Hope we starting to get our NIE approval from Next week. If someone gets approval please comment over again that will be helpful to others.
      Ibrahim – Applied Jul 14. Still waiting
      FMJ – Applied Jul 9. Still waiting
      Anonymous – Applied Jul9. Still waiting
      Santhan – Applied Jul 8. Still waiting
      William – Applied Jul 9. Still waiting
      Praveen – Applied Jul 11. Still waiting. Additional info. requested Jul 16
      Ahmed – Applied Jul 14. Still waiting
      Manoj – Applied Jul 7. Still waiting

      • You cant make a relative comparison and its not going to help anyways. Everybody’s is case is different so please be patient. People applied on June 29 got approval on July 13th to Chennai consulate and they are already here in USA. All that is a lame comparison to work with. Just be patient. Also all those reminder emails will not remind them but only annoy them. People bombard their inbox and that is the main reason for the delays.

  10. Thank you everyone, I got my NIE approval today within hour from New Delhi consulate. I had sent email at 12:10 PM and I have received approval at 12:59 PM. I have L1B visa, it was stamped on 7th April 2021 and I had requested NIE for vital support if critical infrastructure in finance service. This page really helped me in throughout NIE process.
    all the best to others

    • Got mail from Chennai nie that send additional information to review nie request.any idea how many days again they reply back.

    • Recived mail from Chennai nei team to send additional information for reviewing the nie request.again to get mail from them for approval any idea I will receive the mail

  11. Hi,
    My wife has H4 visa and applied for NIE two weeks ago. Only response she got up till now is the automatic reply. So she sent a reminder email on earlier email, but this time she didn’t got any automatic reply. What does this mean? Has similar thing happened to anyone?
    Thanks for the help.

  12. Happy Happy :-), Got approval today from Hyderabad Consulate which applied on 28th June under H1B Financial Services Category. This forum helped me in boosting the Confidence level day by day. And I am sure who all are waiting will also get the approval soon. Please don’t loose the hope, wish you good luck.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience Srikanth…..Good hear….actually i would like to get small info from your end….we have applied NIE on 14th of July….we are planning to keep reminder mail today….could you please share your experience for reminder mails.Many thanks!!!!

    • I applied on July 7th not even got auto reply is it the same with all.. am worried whether the mail has been read or processed

  13. I’m planning to travel from NYC to Delhi at end of this month. Can we apply for the NIE while present in the USA? Also does anyone have recent experience with delhi consulate and applying NIE while in US?


  14. Can one apply for NIE (from the US) before travelling to India, if they qualify under Critical Infrastructure list?
    If anyone has done this, please advise.
    Thank you!

  15. We came to India for a family bereavement and unable to return. My husband is on H1 B and needs stamping (dropbox)to return. So our case is H1 and H4 stamping along with NIE. His company nor the client is ready to give request letter for NIE. My husband works for the client ‘World Bank’ and has valid reason to be in the US for his project work to continue. Also he s taking regular medications for his conditions that cannot be delayed any further. We have got a letter from his doctor too on the same.

    We are planning to prepare the NIE letter based on his occupation details(IT under critical infrastructure) and his medical conditions too..Could anyone please help by providing the NIE cover letter by your company as a sample, it would really help us..

    My questions:
    1. Is it good to apply for stamping of my h4 and my child s h4 along with his H1 stamping?anyone has experience on that?
    2. Since his client is world bank he comes under IT or finance under the critical infrstaructure category?

    We dont have US citizen kid.
    We are yet to start looking for Dropbox appointments as he has some issues with his CGI login.
    Thanks in advance.

    • Hello Sarayu,

      AFAIK, one cannot apply for an NIE without a valid visa in hand. You will have to get your Visa stamping first and then apply for NIE. Please check it before applying for NIE.

  16. My request has been denied, can I request them again? I don’t know how they went through my request, actually I mentioned two reasons, one on humanitarian basis, I met with accident last year and I am still going through some treatments and even I had some appointments in last month, the other reason critical infrastructure and all responsibilities with employer supporting letter. Please advise.

  17. I received approval from Hyderabad consulate on 9 July 2021. I received response in 2 weeks. I did not attach any employment verification letter nor my employer was supportive due to company policy. My profile: H1B holder. If you need further advice feel free to email me quitybhupathiraju@gmail.com.

    • Thank you Deepa for sharing your experience and your helping nature. I am planning to apply NIE at Hyderabad Consulate for my wife. She stuck in India, has a valid H4-B visa (expires 2024). I am working in the research field in a hospital. I need your advice on what information I should provide. Thank you.

  18. Hi All, NIE approved on July 22 ,Initial Request – June 10 ,Category – H4(Family Separation),Chennai consulate.

    This forum helped a lot and Hope all get your approval soon.

    • Hi SM,

      I have also applied on June 10 at Chennai consulate but did not receive yet.
      Did you send any reminder email? If yes, can you share the reminder email format.

      • Hi Marvan,
        I was doing followups once in two days and last followup was on tuesday.In the Followup mail just tell them you applied on June 10th and waiting for 41 days and the need for your travel to US briefly in top of the mail for which you have provided additional details and if you have taken vaccination attach the details also.you will get your approval soon.

      • You just need to wait for it, just because you applied on the same day it does not mean you will get it on the same day.

  19. I am H1b visa holder working in IT company. Can anyone suggest me what to mention why my presence is essential in USA and why I cant work remotely?

    I need sample.

    • You do not believe that you are qualified then how can you expect somebody else to help you with what you do at your work for getting the exemption approval.

  20. Hello!
    Anybody received any response from Chennai consulate recently. I applied on July 1st. Can anybody please guide me how to send remainders.

    • First of all its ” reminders ” and then do not send reminder emails because it can frustrate them sometimes with large number of people wanted to give a try though they know that they are not eligible, so its just waiting business with hope if you truly believe you are qualified for the exemption.

  21. Anyone traveling/ travelled from CHENNAI to USA? via AI. please share your travel experience. i hope they have now understood the nIE requirements.

  22. Hi All, does any one got NIE approval for spouse and children who are in India with H4 and husband in US. Looks like for spouse and children they are making delay. In my case it’s been more than 40 days since we applied.
    Kindly share your experience. TIA

  23. What time does the approval come ? Is it in the morning or evening ?
    I am having to frequently check my email so any guidance on this would give me a peace of mind.

    • Dude chill whatever the time may be, if it comes you would get a notification on your phones email app or just check all your mails once a day.

    • Is this even a bigger problem for you to just open your email and check frequently. Please grow up Mr. Whatever !!!

  24. My name is Sachin. I am on H1B visa.I received the NIE approval for my wife but forgot to mention the daughters details.she is 7yrs old.
    So I replied to that mail by providing all the details to mumbai consulate on 10th Jul
    I want to ask , Is NIE approval required for child.
    If yes..How many days require to receive the approval from mumbai consulate

    • Hi Sachin, Did you get any response on NIE for your daughter? I am also in the same boat. Received NIE for me, but kids NIE has not come.

  25. i am on F2 dependent visa can i apply NIE base on family separation? my husband is in US till August 2018 and he is on his F1 visa with stem OPT.

  26. I applied my NIE application on 10th June to Chennai Embassy.
    They asked for additional details about my job role in USA, on 25th June. And I revert back on same day.
    On 30th June they asked to submit supporting documents and I revert back on 1st July.
    On 8th July I sent reminder email as well.
    Still I didn’t hear back anything from consulate.
    So I want to understand on what bases they consider NIE applications?
    Appreciate suggestions for next steps.

  27. I applied my NIE application on 10th June to Chennai Embassy.
    They asked for additional details about my job role in USA, on 25th June. And I revert back on same day.
    On 30th June they asked to submit supporting documents and I revert back on 1st July.
    On 8th July I sent reminder email as well.
    Still I didn’t hear back anything from consulate.
    So I want to understand on what bases they consider NIE applications?
    Appreciate suggestions for next steps.

    • Hi,

      I have applied NIE for chennai consulate,anyone is getting response from chennai consulate,did they stop approving NIE.

      • My colleague applied for NIE on 9th July to the Chennai consulate and received it on 15th July. We were surprised by such a fast approval. He is a manager with an L1-A visa. I’m not sure if that made the difference. I have applied for an NIE at the Hyderabad consulate on 13th July and still waiting for approval.

        • Hi Praveen,

          Would really appreciate if you could share what your friend wrote for NIE as a manager. Let me know if somehow we can connect personally to get more information. I am on the same boat , having L1A visa, but not sure mu duties falls under NIE or not.

          • Hello Kapil,

            Below is the format in which he applied for the NIE. In the NIE request letter, he has mentioned his job duties. You can mention the same that you used during your L1-A petition.

            I’m , working as a for since . I had to travel to India on a business trip in November 2020 and had to stay back in India for a longer duration due to the pandemic situations and the global travel restrictions. I am planning to go back to the US on as we have scheduled product release by end of August 2021. My absence in the US directly affects the release cycles of our products. Delayed-release cycles indirectly affect the revenue generated by . I have attached the NIE approval request letter and Employment verification letter from my employer.

            I hereby request you to kindly approve my NIE request to travel back to the US. I would be happy to provide additional details if needed.

            Hope this helps.

        • Hello Praveen! I am in the same situation, applied to HYD consulate on 7/13. Planning to travel on 7/31 for parents health issues. I am a manager in the field of healthcare medical equipment, used to treat Covid patients and other healthcare infrastructure. No response yet, plan to send them reminder emails from today. Please let me know if any updates on your end. Thank you!

        • Hi Praveen,
          Have you gotten any response yet? I have applied for NIE at Hyderabad consulate and waiting on my approval as well.

      • Hi. I just got NIE approval from Chennai consulate today.
        Applied on June 17th and got it today.
        Reminders sent – 3.
        Last one was sent this morning.

    • Hi. I just got NIE approval from Chennai consulate today.
      Applied on June 21st and got it today, consulate asked for additional docs and info , submitted them on june 22nd
      Reminders sent – 5
      Last reminder was sent on july 13th

      • I think it’s people like you that is causing delays for others. They are not your lazy dumb coworker that doesn’t do his work on time and you have to constantly send reminder emails. They are employees of us consulate. Please don’t flood their inboxes. I applied and waiting for a month now. If people send 10 emails they have to go though each one that causes delays.

  28. Hi All,
    I am an IT professional and my current project also fulfils the requirement of NIE critical infrastructure list. I have an approved/stamped H1B till Nov 2021. But I came to India in Feb 2020 because of some personal issues, post then I did not travel because of lockdown and my personal problems. Now my project wants me to fly back provided I get NIE approval. Has anyone faced similar situations like me and applied or received NIE approval for the same? Any help would be really appreciated. Thank you.

    • I’m on the same boat as you and applied for an NIE on 12th July to the Hyderabad consulate. Sent a reminder email yesterday, received an automated response. Fingers crossed 😐

      • Hi Praveen, Did you receive a reply yet from consulate. My situation is similar to your’s so wondering if anyone got the reply with same scenario like mine.

    • Visa number is printed in red color on the stamp. If you don’t have a valid stamp, how would you be able to travel with NIE? You have to first get an updated visa and then apply for NIE. Note, I’m not an immigration expert.

  29. Hi I got my NIE approved from Delhi for July 16 applied in July 7. I have arrived to US. Experience with custom – if you have a connecting flights scheduled to reach any other state after customs then please make sure you have atleast 2-3 hours transit. With NIE all the passengers were asked to wait and customs had two officers enquiries on the passenger travelling with actual purpose of NIE. There were some basic questions asked – like what makes you travel here, what work you do and since how long you work, sometimes they ask your employer salary details (you can show bank statements from your phone if required) and at times they asked the documents (soft copy or hard copy anything is ok) so keep everything handy to access during that time. Then we were asked to leave for our next flights.

  30. Hello, has anyone received an NIE on the grounds of Healthcare work/Medical Equipment, currently on approved/stamped H1-B visa? Traveling for parents health.
    Interested in knowing stats for Hyderabad. Planned date of travel is July 31st, applied NIE on July 12th.
    Has anyone sent reminder emails, if so what has been the response?

    Thank you

  31. Did anyone received NIE approvals from Mumbai consulate? I had applied for NIE request on July 6th and waiting for results. I have stamped Visa till 2022.

  32. Hi All, Finally my family’s H4-NIE under family separation got approved from Chennai Consulate — Applied on June – 13th and got Approved on July – 16th. (33 Days) <>

    Last 10 days was seeing lot of approvals from Chennai which increased hope and daily expectation. Thanks everyone for posting their approvals — Eventhough this Forum is common for me it looks like Primarily Chennai and Secondary Hydrabad Consulate Forum as in other Consulate NIE people are getting in 3-4 days <>

  33. Hi All,
    I got my NIE approved from New Delhi consulate today. Critical infrastructure support categoryI am currently in the US and wanted to have an NIE approved before I making travel plans to go see my elderly parents. From when application to approval it took 4 hours. Super grateful for this group. I hired a highly reputed immigration attorney firm to help draft the NIE application for me. I am pasting a template of the email that I used to apply – hopefully it will be useful for someone else.

    Dear Officer,

    I am writing to request a National Interest Exception (NIE) to Presidential Proclamation 10199 under the critical infrastructure categories of
    [X Sector] and [Y Sector]

    I am requesting a NIE so that I may travel from India to the United States and continue my employment at [A]. [A] is [_______] company and its mission is [_______]. A copy of a letter verifying my employment with [A] is attached with this email.

    I have been working at [A] in the [Location] office as a [Position] since [Date]. My job responsibilities include [1 or 2(max) sentences on job responsibility]

    Effective and efficient fulfillment of my job duties requires my presence in the United States to [reasons for being in the US]. This requirement is further validated in the official employment verification letter attached with this email.

    Furthermore, I am fully vaccinated with 2 doses of [XYZ] vaccine and present minimal risk of spreading the COVID-19 infection.

    Personal Details

    Last name :
    First name:
    Travel dates: 11/30/2021
    Date of birth:
    Country of citizenship: INDIA
    Passport number:
    Visa Category: H1B
    Visa Number:
    Visa Validity:
    Travel Purpose and National Interest Category that you fall under with clear justification of the same : [X Sector] and [Y Sector]

    Attachments –
    Copy of my current H1B Visa stamp
    Employment Verification Letter from [A]
    Digital Vaccination Proof

    • Hi SZ,

      I am planning to travel india on august first week. I need your help. please share the attorney details and sample template to my email Id. gadi.jayaprakash@gmail.com. So I will work with them and get my NIA.

  34. “NIE UNDER ALL P.P.S ON NOVEL CORONAVIRUS”. Exempted from travel ban due to US citizen child.

    Does on the visa stamp it mention you the “Exempted from travel ban due to US citizen child.” or just the “NIE UNDER ALL P.P.S ON NOVEL CORONAVIRUS”

  35. Hi all,
    My name is Tanuja, I travelled to India in the 2nd week of April with my 9 years old daughter after 4yrs . I got my H4 visa approved in the last week of April via drop box procedure from US consulate Hyderabad, but they wanted my kid to go through the regular procedure of Bio Metrics and appointment as parents(My husband and My self ) don’t have a valid visa stamping.
    I was able to book an appointment for the kid for 02/02/2022 which is 10 months from now and its too late. Her school starts in the first week of September.
    Can I go ahead and book an Expedite Appointment, Do I need to request for an NIE along with this . Are these both the same(EA and NIE). How do I go about in this case.
    Need your valuable inputs. Your help is much appreciated. Thank You.


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