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.

Update: US lifted Travel Ban for India Travelers starting from Nov 8th, 2021. You do not need NIE for Travel or Visa Stamping after Nov 8th, 2021. Check more at US Travel Ban Lifted – US Travel Requirements . You need to vaccinated to travel to US, check List of Vaccines to Travel to US

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

Greetings, 

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. 

Mr. XXXXXXXXXXXXX

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. 

Sincerely,
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]

My travel is urgent because [ENTER SOME MADE UP INFO ABOUT WHY YOU NEED TO BE IN USA]

My absence will delay the [ENTER INFO ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU ARE NOT BACK IN USA SOON]

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.

   

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1,146 Comments

  1. Happy to share all that i received NIE approval from Chennai.

    Applied on: July 29th

    Received Mail next day July 30th asking for additional details (in tabular format for dependent details, job title, company name, one sentence describing why my presence required in US….)

    Sent updated details on the same day 30th July.

    Approval received: Aug 13th

    Basis for NIE: Critical infrastructure – IT

    Document attached: Visa copy and NIE letter from employer

    Haven’t send any follow up emails, more the reminder delay in response which I observed from many post, and yes I got the approval in 2 weeks.

    Reply
  2. Hi

    Icame to know NIE today..I am on H1B visa and wanted to have my parents in US since we have a new born in our house. We need them here for our help and they are also seeking their grand daughter. We booked their tickets in May 2021and waiting for removal of travel ban. Hope there won’t be any issue with NIE approval. Kindly suggest and reply.

    Reply
  3. Hi sir primary applicant in USA on F1 visa after completing studies Feb 2021 MS (IT) information technology.

    Started working on March 2021 on F1 OPT . I have applied NIE on 10th July to Chennai consulate .
    Me and my daughter is having valid F2 dependent Visa. But didn’t get any reply from consulate.
    Now can we travel without NIE approval to USA on F2 dependent visa or NIE is mandatory to travel to USA

    Reply
    • Hi all

      Can you give any suggestions for F1 Visa holders already working on basis of F1 OPT . But F2 dependent visa holders can travel without NIE approval or need to get approval for NIE travel to USA please any one can give reply for this

      Reply
  4. Hi
    Got a NIE approved today for H1B (Information Technology sector)
    Applied: July 24th & Location: Chennai consulate
    Additional information requested : July 29th, I have missed the Job title in the initial request mail, same they have asked – i have provided information on same day
    Approved: 13th Aug
    No follow-up email sent
    Thanks to this group and it helped me a lot.
    All the best others!!!

    Reply
  5. Hello Everyone,

    Got the NIE Approval today for myself and my wife from Chennai Consulate, applied on July 29th, got approval on 12th August in just 14 days time. Thanks to everyone in this thread whoever contributed the information to apply NIE. When I was asked to apply NIE, honestly I don’t know anything, what to send, how to frame the email and so on… But after reading through this thread, the comments, and the above experience shared by many people, I got the clue of what is expected for this approval.

    Initially when I drafted the email, even I’m not sure whether I have provided enough information to get the approval, later when I did the proof reading and cross checked all the information in this thread then I understood that all the information are provided in the request email.

    Below is the Format of my email which I had sent to the consulate for approval.

    Introduction above Me – Job Profile, Purpose of Travel – Brief – Just 4 Lines

    My Client & My Company Services – How they fall in Critical Infrastructure – Brief – 4 Lines

    Details of Myself & My Wife – Complete Info includes Name, DOB, Gender, Passport, Visa, Travel Purpose, Travel Date, Client, My Job Role, NIE Category and so on… in a tabular format

    Client Summary- 8 Lines

    Project Summary – 8 Lines

    Critical Infrastructure Category – Summary – 8 Lines

    Proposed Job Duties – 4 Sections – each 10 Bullet Points – Which I provided for my H1B Petition Approval

    Travel Purpose – What I’m going to do in USA – 4 Lines

    5 Important Task, its Details and the problem why I can’t do it from INDIA, the importance of my presence in USA to complete the Task

    Summary of Overall Importance of my Job Duties and its problems – 5 Bullet Points

    Impact of my Travel, if I don’t travel what’s the impact and lose for my client and company – 5 Bullet Points

    And Final Closure statement like below
    Attached the Passport and Visa copies of myself and my wife, requested approval under Critical Infrastructure category.

    That’s it…

    Initially I thought of sending remainder emails, but later when I read everyone comments, I didn’t send any reminders, to be honest reminder emails will slow down the process for ourselves and others as well, so please don’t remainder emails, your remainder emails will not have any impact in the decision of the consulate, Only the content you sent in the initial email will speak to consulate for the decision you expect.

    I waited patiently for the last 14 days, now I’m happy that got the approval.

    I wish everyone to get the approval vey shortly, but please be patient and wait. Your day will come anytime.

    Thanks everyone.

    Reply
  6. My NIE is approved today.

    Applied at Chennai on July 13th for H1b Financial sector
    Got an email on July 19th to resubmit all document including VISA (it was similar to Auto response but was sent by someone)
    Responded to Same email on July 20th but also sent a separate email with same details
    Replied to both original email and second on July 26th with Updated travel date as my travel date has past.
    Got the approval email on Aug 11th

    FAQ
    It took about 28 days for me to get an approval
    I did not send any remainder email except for change of travel date .
    They responded to my Original email sent on July 13th.
    I got the autoreply email only once to my initial request.
    when I got the approval my second travel date has also passed.
    I am on EVC model.
    I got letter from my employer for NIE and Client to prove that I work in Financial sector

    Reply
  7. I’m applying for NIE with my old passport (sealed cancelled but expiry date is Nov 2021), but I have yet to receive the new passport as well. I hope that i will get a new passport in 2 week. Meanwhile, if NIE is approved with the old passport number, then do I need to raise the NIE request again for a new passport number? Since, my travel very urgent here and I plan to travel US once I receive the new passport.

    Will it affect the boarding?

    Reply
  8. Hi Kumar,

    I’m currently in US on H1B status. My spouse and kid(both First time stamping) are in India and we got visa appointment slot for Aug 25 n 26. Do they need to take any NIE kind of letter written by me, mentioning the family separation for the smooth process of their stamping. Could you pls help me with documents ?

    Reply
    • I was in same boat. Got my family visa stamped in June by taking an exception approval and got their visa stamped. Just few documents as usual nothing related to NIE. Once you have the visa stamped on their passports then you can apply for NIE for travel.

      Reply
        • My spouse falls under h4. Just for stamping we dont need NIE. Post Visa stamping for traveling we need NIE. This is what happened with me.

          Reply
    • Ram,
      Yes, they would need it. Well, it has to be based on your work saying it falls under NIE and also you can include family separation.

      Reply
  9. Its been over 3 weeks and we haven’t heard from the Mumbai consulate on our request for NIE based on humanitarian reasons. Browsing through this thread, it seems like there is a greater chance of success through the Chennai consulate. Is it ok to apply to multiple consulates? Are there criteria to decide which consulate to apply to?

    Reply
  10. Hi There,

    Applied for NIE Critical infra on 6th July with travel date of 25th July to CHENNAINIE. Sent follow-up every week, received auto reply 3 times and sometimes didn’t receive auto reply as well. How does the email get prioritised as i see in some comments people applying after 20th July getting response? Its very frustrating to wait in this uncertainty.

    Reply
    • I have been waiting for a long time too. Applied for NIE to Chennai consulate on July 8th got email for more information on 20th July and sent the reply on the same day in the format requested and did followup multiple times but no response post that. Still waiting hopefully will get something this week I believe. It would have been better if they at least say they are looking at the request.

      Reply
      • Happy to share that I got my dependents NIE approval. H4. Applied on 8th July. Sent reminders and the got email from the consulate asking for additional info on 20th July. Followed multiple times again after that and got approval today Aug 12th. In my experience sending reminders does not harm but limit the mails you send. 2 to 3 reminders will not harm and when i stopped sending reminders from last 4 days i got the approval. So limit the reminders. But have patience and you will get something in a month or 40days.

        Reply
    • Adding to this question> Has anyone received any approvals from HYD at all this past week or so? I am in Healthcare, applied for NIE and have not had a response since July 12th. I know at least two others that have had no response from HYD. I know of two that applied from India and have been denied. All the above cases including mine are H1B with valid stamped visas expiring in the next 2-3 months. Thanks!

      Reply
      • Hello,

        I’m in the same boat. I’ve applied on July 13th, sent around 8 followups. I’ve received auto response for tge first followup and none for others. H1b with visa till 2023.

        Thank you.

        Reply
        • Hi,

          I have sent on July 8th to Hyderabad but no reply. That’s why I am traveling to Mexico for 14 days now. If by any chance I get it while I’m there I will start to US the next day but no hopes after seeing the trend in Hyderabad.

          Reply
  11. Hello All,

    Has anyone applied for NIE for parents who are on B1/B2 visa?
    Is there any negative effect on their future travel if gets denied?

    Reply
  12. Hi,

    Does anyone know if one can start to US from Mexico without completion of 14 days quarantine if NIE is approved mid way through the 14 day period ?

    Would there be questions at POE if we don’t finish 14 day quarantine even if we get NIE approved meanwhile?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • You can travel. We did that way. We got NIE approval 8 days after we reached Mexico(Cancún). Did a covid test and travelled 10th Day to Dallas. No questions asked.

      Reply
      • Thanks a lot Sivakumar. Saves me a ton of time. I am not hopeful about the NIE approval as I have emailed Hyderabad Consulate on July 8th and no reply yet even after multiple reminders but if I get it then atleast it will reduce my trip time. Thanks a lot for your answer!

        Reply
      • Hello Siva…i would like to know the your’s travel experience.. if you ok, can i get your’s contact number to call you..

        Reply
  13. Hello,

    Is there any sample NIE letter to bring one of the parents on B1/B2 visa? Did anyone get approvals in the humanitarian category?

    Reply
    • lot of parents are travelling to mexico, spending 14 days there and then coming to US. You might wanna try that there are several telegram groups where people are coordinating stays in mexico.

      Reply
  14. Has anyone received approval for H4 from mumbai consulate? If yes please let me know if u have sent follow up mails…I am waiting from 4 weeks and sent 2 follow up mails

    Reply
  15. Am currently in US, my wife has approved Viisa and applied for NIE at Chennai.
    Emailed date: July 8th,
    Travel date mentioned: July 20th.
    Mail : Explained that I cannot work remotely as I work with heavy machinery and i need to be in US and requested NIE for my wife based on Family Separation.
    Documents Attached:
    Regular EVL,
    My passport, H1B approval letter.
    Wife’s Passport and Visa.

    Received an immediate reply from Chennai Consulate informing that it will take atleast 30 days to process my request and asked us not send reminders. And I haven’t sent a single reminder.

    Approval date: Aug 6th 2.30PM IST.

    Reply
  16. Finally, I got the reply on my NIE request from Mumbai Consulate, applied on 11th July. Asking for a letter from my customer.. that briefly explains how you qualify for an NIE. I am not sure if my customer will provide one.. any suggestions?

    Reply
    • Sorry I don’t have a response to your question, just analyzing the time period they are taking to process at Mumbai Consulate. I applied NIE for my family on July 21st so hoping to hear back from them by next week, I guess.

      Reply
    • Not so far, applied on July 12th and sent 4 reminders to date, well past my date of travel of 31st of July. H1B stamped and valid till Oct 10, 2021.

      Reply
      • Hello AD,

        I’m in the same boat as you. Applied on July 13th to Hyd consulate and awaiting approval. My H1B is expiring on Sep 30, 2021.

        Are you planning to travel via a third country (Mexico/Maldives/Qatar)? Please let me know what options you are looking at.

        You can reach me on telegram at +91-9900188077

        Thanks,
        Praveen

        Reply
        • Hello Praveen,
          Have you received your approval?
          I’m in the same boat as you. Hyd – applied on July 13th, H1b, sent 4 reminders so far, travel date provided Aug 14th.
          I’m going to send a reminder each day for next week.

          Thank you!

          Reply
          • Priya, are you in the US or stuck in India? I applied on July 12th, I am in the US and want to travel to see my parents in Hyd before my visa expires on Oct 10th.

    • No luck yet. I applied on July 8th but no reply even after sending multiple reminders. I recived automated email few times and that’s it. I have decided to travel to Mexico and I’m leaving on Aug 11th. I’m planning to go from there to US if I get my NIE approved in the quarantine time of 14 days.

      Reply
  17. Yes..initial mail on july 1st, additional info on 13th july..post that 2,3 follow ups..My travel date which i provided is on Aug 5.

    Reply
  18. Happy to share..I received Approval today,from Chennai..applied on July 1st…additional information shared on 13th july..category: H4 family seperation…Good luck to all who is been waiting for approval.

    Reply
    • Hi suganya , I applied today for nie approval and received one auto acknowledgment. How many days it will take for approval. Also my attached size is more than 700 mb will have any impact. How we need to follow up with them new thread or using auto response

      Reply
      • Hi Magesh..

        For my approval it took 35days, 3 follow ups done….Final follow up i did as a new mail..but refered and provided details about the initial mail too…Attachment size doesnt impact i believe as you already received a auto mail.Even i received only one auto mail.But make sure you provide all the required details as they come back if anything is missing…this can delay ur approval..in my case july 1st i sent them initial mail, additional detaiks on 13th july.

        Reply
  19. Hello all, may not be the right place to my query. Is anyone waiting on NIE decision Hyd?
    It’s been more than 3 weeks and haven’t heard any on my case. I have followed up last week and received an auto response. I have sent another follow today but haven’t received any auto response too.
    Any one in the same boat?

    Reply
    • Hi Pooja,
      Same here. It’s been 4 weeks but no reply yet. I saw from the comments in this article that the longest it took is about a month. I send reminder emails but I get auto reply only.
      Thanks!

      Reply
    • Hey there! Yes I am in the same boat, applied to HYD on 7/12, three reminder emails, got auto responses to my first email and first two reminders, no auto response on my last reminder email this past Monday. Plan to send one again tomorrow, which would be my 4th reminder email. H1B, Healthcare sector, application to travel to visit parents due to their health reason.

      In response to @Aish @vigneshchandramouli I have not received approval requesting NIE from US, but I want to say a few have. I also understand that for anyone applying from India to HYD have all gotten their responses with a yay or nay within 2 weeks. So I wish we could understand the process that is being followed but it is very hard to decode anything. At least not from HYD. Hope this helps!

      Reply
    • Hi All,
      I’m also in the same boat. Applied NIE for VISA approval (it was refused with 221G under proclamation) on 14th July. No reply yet. Received acknowledgement saying that the documents have been forwarded to concerned team. My friend’s request was submitted in mid of June and got approval after 2 weeks. He got visa appointment date for 13th July and received stamped passports on 4th Aug.

      Reply
  20. To get an NIE is it required to have a Visa first. Want to Apply NIE for my dependants, as my NIE is approved, but L2 is not yet approved.

    Reply
  21. Hi,
    I had applied H4 NIE request to chennai consulate on Jul 19 and my travel date is 21 Aug. Anyone received approval for H4 visa-family separation category in this month?
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi
      Got a NIE approved today for L2 dependent visa.(family saperation 1 adult and 2 kids)
      Applied:13th July
      Location:Chennai consulate
      Review mail:30th July
      Follow up:daily from one week
      Approved:4th Aug
      This forum gave me boostup.

      Reply
      • I am still waiting for mine. Applied on 8th July for dependents . Got mail for additional information on 20 July. Following up once a week but no luck.

        Reply
      • Hi vishnu, I applied today for nie approval and received one auto acknowledgment. How many days it will take for approval. Also my attached size is more than 700 mb will have any impact. How we need to follow up with them new thread or using auto response

        Reply
  22. Finally got approval after 48 days. Applied on June 16 in Chennai consulate for me and my family and it got approved on Aug 3rd. All we need is real patience. Really a long wait.

    Reply
  23. Can I ask for Emergency appointments for my spouse and kids Visa interview based on my NIE has approved and I need to travel within 3-4 weeks time. Under which category I can apply for Emergency appointments for their Visa interview.

    Reply
  24. Got approval today evening !

    Consulate – Chennai
    Visa – H1B
    Date applied – 07-09-2021

    Note: I send a follow-up email even today morning. From my personal experience there is no harm in sending a follow-up email.
    Unfortunately the processing time in Chennai is longer and we cant bypass that. Be patient !

    Reply
    • Hi FMJ, did you apply provide NIE letter from your employer ? Wanted to check if there are any NIE approvals for personal requests. Thank you.

      Reply
  25. Can I ask for Emergency appointments for my spouse and kids Visa interview based on my NIE has approved and I need to travel with 3-4 weeks time. Under which category shall I apply for Emergency appointments for their Visa interview.

    Reply
  26. I got approval today including family…. I have applied on July 15th under critical infrastructure – Healthcare and public Health…there is no rejection so far from chennai consulate 100% approval… Dnt send multiple reminders, which will delay the process for others.. Just send one email and include all the details and with supporting documents…

    Reply
  27. Applied for NIE at Chennai Consulate under Critical Infrastructure category (H1B)

    Applied on July 21st and received my approval on Aug 3rd.

    Thanks to this forum. Immensely helpful and lots of helpful information.

    Good luck everyone who have applied for NIE. Be patient and you will receive the green light soon.

    Reply
    • Congrats. What if I am not in a job that is critically requires my presence, how can I back myself? But my position is not something the client would offshore, it still requires US presence or to be particular, requires to work with the business teams in the US time zones.

      Reply
    • Congrats! I fall under the same category. I sent a mail to Hyderabad July 30th and haven’t heard back yet. I’m seeing posts of people waiting a long time for the Hyderabad consulate to respond. Do you know if I can mail Chennai even if my issuing post is Hyderabad?

      Reply
  28. Could you please help me….Have anyone received approval for H4 visa-family separation category in this month of august.

    Reply
  29. I need sample letter for NIE application.. I am in USA and I need to get my wife and kid – They are stuck there due to COVID, Travel ban and they dnt have visa also.. please help… email me on – sssatyaoec00@gmail.com…. Or msg me on +1 513 306 1901

    Please humble request

    Reply
  30. I have got the NIE approval today morning from Chennai Consulate. I had applied on 14th July. Mentioned the travel date as 07-Aug. Sent one reminder on 30th July…
    H1B – Critical Infrastructure – Communications Sector.

    Reply
  31. Hi ..Have anyone received approval for H4 visa-family seperation category. HIB visa holder is at US. I can see comments from mostly HIB and L.

    I have a doubt whether they are looking into H4 category.Because initial mail send on july 1 and additional details mailed on 13th july..no reply yet.2 reminders has been done.

    Reply
  32. Hi All

    i applied H4 NIE for my husband and daughter @hyderabad consulate.I sent multiple emails and multiple reminders but nothing is working out.I applyed on July 13th but no reply some times Auto reply sometimes nothin.

    Reply
  33. My NIE(L1 A) got approved from Delhi within a Day. Thanks everyone for sharing experiences. Now how can I make my dependants travel with me as they don’t have L2.
    Based on my NIE can I request to expedite for there Visa & NIE? Shall I first raise for NIE under family separation and than file for expedite L2 visa. Can anyone let me know how it will work out.

    Reply
    • Can I ask for Emergency appointments for my spouse and kids Visa interview based on my NIE has approved and I need to travel with 3-4 weeks time. Under which category I can apply for Emergency appointments for there Visa interview.

      Reply

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