Home » US Immigration - Visas » Travel to US From India with NIE – 30 Days Rule, Annotation -Need Email?

Travel to US From India with NIE – 30 Days Rule, Annotation -Need Email?

As most of you know, due to extreme COVID situation in India, President Biden signed proclamation banning all Travelers from India to US, if they spent 14 days before their travel in India on April 30th, 2021. As part of the travel ban, US Dept of State provided National Interest Exceptions (NIE) criteria defining who are not subject to this travel ban and process to apply the same. Read US Bans Travelers from India – NIE Exceptions, Process for more info.

One important change is the time limit to travel if you receive NIE. In the past, with Trump Travel ban on H1B, L and other visas, that expired on March 31st, 2021, the NIE rules to travel to US were different. In this article, we will review what are the current NIE rules for travel to US.

If you are looking to book a slot using Emergency Appointment in India based on NIE or general emergency, read Guide to US Visa Emergency Appointment Process – India

How does US Visa Approved under NIE look ? Sample ?

If you get US Visa Stamping done in India on or after May 4th, 2021, which is after the Biden presidential proclamation went into effect based on National Interest Exception (NIE), it would look like below. If you were eligible for NIE and get US Visa approved, then your US Visa Stamp Foil  that is glued in passport would have annotation called National Interest Exception (NIE) and the proclamation text as you see below. Below sample is shared by one of our readers, who got H1B visa stamping under NIE.

NIE Stamp on Passport - India Travel Ban
NIE Stamp on Passport – India Travel Ban

To compare, how the visa annotation looked for someone who got NIE and got stamping during the previous President Trump Proclamation related to H1B Travel Ban, below is the sample of the same. If you see closely, the text says “RISK TO LABOR MARKET”, in it that clearly tells. Again, the below screenshot is for comparison only, you would NOT get visa annotation like below anymore as the proclamation expired.

NIE Visa Copy USA - Sample Annotation
Sample US Visa issued under NIE with Annotation – H1B Travel Ban

30 Days Travel Rule for NIE – Travel from India to US

In the past, with H1B Travel Ban, the 30 days rule was not there for anyone who traveled from India and it was clarified by US Consulates, but now, since May 4th, 2021, this changed. As per the current guidance by US Embassy and US Consulates, you first need to apply for NIE by sending all your details and NIE justification along with the email to the consulate that gave you visa with specific dates of your travel. If approved, you would need to travel within 30 days from the date of your NIE Approval. You only get single entry to use it to travel within 30 days. Below is the official guidance screenshot from US Embassy & US Consulates in India. Check Official FAQs

NIE Guidance to travel within 30 days from US Embassy india
NIE Guidance to travel within 30 days from US Embassy india

If the NIE request is approved, you would get a confirmation to travel. The email clearly tells that you would need to travel within 30 days as well with the applicant name and passport information. See below email confirmation with NIE Approved for an applicant in India.

Email Approval for NIE with 30 days to travel rule
Email Approval for NIE with 30 days to travel rule

The current guidance for NIE to travel from India given by US Consulates in India is same as given by other US consulates across the globe. See below.

We have many users who got NIE approval in India before travel and were able to travel to US. Read article : 15 NIE Approval Experiences India – Letter, Travel

US Visa Stamp with NIE Annotation – Do I need NIE Email ?

Many of you, who have attended US Visa Stamping during the travel ban, would have got US Visa foil glued in your passport that has annotation saying “NIE UNDER ALL P. P. S ON NOVEL CORONAVIRUS” that looked like in above screenshot in beginning section. The question is, do you need to again send an email to Consulate or Embassy and get the NIE Email confirmation.

We have reached out to US Embassy in Delhi and US Consulate in Chennai on the same and below is the response.

  • If your visa stamp has the annotation “”NIE UNDER ALL P. P. S ON NOVEL CORONAVIRUS”” and if you travel within 30 days from the date when your visa was issued, you do not need to email anyone and get separate NIE approval. Your visa stamp annotation will serve that you are exempt to travel under NIE. See below email screenshots.
  • If you travel after 30 days, then you need to reach out to the consulate or embassy over email and share all your details and get NIE approval before you travel. See below email screenshots.
NIE Visa annotation - no need of NIE Email confirmation from US Embassy Delhi
NIE Visa annotation – no need of NIE Email confirmation from US Embassy Delhi
NIE Visa annotation - no need of NIE Email confirmation from Chennai Consulate
NIE Visa annotation – no need of NIE Email confirmation from Chennai Consulate

NIE Travel 30 Days Rule – EU Region Guidance

  • US Consulate Germany:  They have listed the 30 days travel rule, under the FAQs section and have it indicated for many of the visa types. Below is one of such screenshots that talks about the 30 days rule.  Here is the exact text “Please be advised, if a national interest exception is granted for travel on a new or existing visa or for travel under ESTA, it is good for only one entry and for travel within 30 days after it is approved.” . You can  Check US Consulate Germany COVID-19 FAQs
NIE Rule Germany US Embassy 30 days Rule
NIE Rule Germany US Embassy 30 days Rule
  • US Embassy Norway:  On US Embassy Norway, they have clearly put in big header on the page and talk about the limitations of National Interest Exception (NIE) Travel. They say that, even if you get full visa validity, if it was issued under NIE, then you need to travel within 30 days. See below screenshot. You can check US Embassy Norway – Expansion of NIE
National Interest Exception US Visa - Norway Consulate
National Interest Exception US Visa – Norway Consulate
  • US Embassy Sweden: You can find the exact same message on US Embassy Sweden website that tells that you need to enter US within 30 days from the day visa is issued as well. See below screenshot and check US Embassy Sweden NIE info
Sweden 30 days travel Rule
US Consulate Sweden 30 days travel Rule

What has been your experience with travel with NIE from India ? ? Did you travel after 30 days to US ?

   

Other Articles

55 Comments

  1. Hi All,

    My son is 3 years old( US Citizen), My self and my wife here in the US. Can my Mother-in-law and father-in-law travel directly to the US along with my kid? Do they need any NIE or other documentation? Plan of travel is July 16th 2021.
    Please post your reply.

    Reply
  2. While sending the NIE approval, there was typo and I sent an email them and asking them to ignore the email and sent a new request.. please suggest me whether this will not give any negative results..also how long this process will take..

    Reply
  3. Does visa approved under NIE stays valid if we do not travel after 30 days. Will i be able travel once ban is lifted on same visa and without any new approval?

    Reply
  4. Hi ,
    I am on J1 visa of category P4 in US . I need to go to India to take my daughter who has been approved J2 visa . As she is minor so she cannot travel alone . Am I eligible for NIE ? Can I apply for NIE from US ? Or is it necessary that I need to be in India to apply for it ?

    Reply
  5. Hi,

    I am working in US on H1-B visa, my wife and son are in India now, but they have valid US visa . Do they qualify for NIE?

    Thanks

    Reply
  6. Hello,

    My wife’s H-4 got approved with a NIE. But it states in her visa she cannot travel before a certain date in Aug 2021. So my question is does the travel within 30 day rule for NIE start from the visa issue date or from the date she is allowed to travel and enter the country? In this particular case.

    Anybody in the same boat? please advise.

    Reply
  7. Hi Kumar,

    I have got my visa stamped via an emergency appointment last month. My kid is US born.
    Our stamped visa doesnt have the word NIE per se. It appears like this,
    “EXCEPTION UNDER PP ON NOVEL CORONAVIRUS”.

    Does this mean that the travel to US within 30 days rule applies to us or not?

    Your inputs will be very appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

    Best,
    Girish

    Reply
  8. My wife got NIE approved from Delhi embassy. Can some one please guide us the next steps on what documents we need to carry to US port?

    Reply
  9. I have a F1 student visa and had to travel to India in May 2021, do I need to apply for an NIE as I wish to return to the US by June end as my summer courses start in the first week of July? How many days does it usually take for the Mumbai consulate to reply back to an NIE request?

    Reply
  10. Hi
    My wife is on H4 visa, went to India due to emergency and now stuck in India due to travel restrictions.
    She has valid H4 visa stamp in her passport expiring sep21.
    I am currently on valid H1B in the USA working in infrastructure support in financial industry.
    Can she apply for NIE based on family separation ?
    If NIE get rejected, does her H4 visa still remains valid?
    Thanks.

    Reply
  11. Hello,

    I work for the state department as a contractor in the Information Technology division. Am I eligible to apply for NIE under Information Technology Sector? Thanks.

    Reply
  12. Hi,

    My company is willing to provide me NIE and planning to request for approval .

    Question:
    – I don’t have my visa stamping done as I don’t come under Dropbox category
    – my initial visa slots in June first week got cancelled

    If I request for NIE approval, what will be the procedure?

    Can someone please explain me as I don’t see any above comments mentioning this situation?

    Thanks in advance

    Reply
  13. Hi, I have family emergency need to travel from USA to India. Prior to travel I can apply for NIE to get approval? Please suggest. Thanks.

    Reply
  14. Hi,
    None of them in my family has US citizen,
    Can I apply h4 extension for my family under NIE? Friends, please advise how will i get consular appointment anywhere in india?
    Currently i am staying in US and waiting for EB2 biometrics.
    Thank you,
    prabhakar

    Reply
    • prabhakar,
      There was one user, who got the Approval for situation like yours. You can try to write to consulate and see, if it works.

      Reply
  15. Good afternoon,

    I know currently a H1B visa issue can be denied at the consulate if one does not meet NIE requirements, because of the existing PP 10052 (which suspends the issue of some visas) and PP 10143 (which restricts the entry in the US of individuals who have been in the Schengen area and other countries during the previous 14 days).

    In the scenario that PP 10052 is not extended and ends on March 31, after that will it be possible to get a visa stamp even if you don’t meet any NIE requirements for PP 10143??

    According to what I have read, I think so because I believe PP 10143 does not suspend the issue of visas. If the only proclamation in place is PP 10143, I think that one can get a visa stamp without processing any NIE; and in order to get back in the US he/she would have to stay outside the restricted countries for 14 days before entering the US.

    Thank you!

    Reply
  16. Has anyone travelled on H1B visa with annotation “NIE UNDER P.P. ON RISK TO LABOR MARKET”. If yes, then can you please share your experience at port of entry. What questions were asked or any other issues/difficulty faced due above annotation.

    Reply
    • DINSIN,
      Many have traveled and were able to arrive in US safely. Some of them shared that there was secondary inspection and few questions were asked related to work, how they qualify for exception. So, be prepared to answer and have all documentation handy.

      Reply
  17. Hi, My wife got H4 visa stamped thru dropbox channel from Bangalore just 2 days ago. She too had the same annotation. As per the advice from redbus2us I reached out to Chennai consulate . Here is what they had to say.

    Hope this helps.

    Hello, thank you for your inquiry.

    Some applicants who are subject to one of the recent Presidential Proclamations, but have been granted an exception, are required to travel to the United States within 30 days of visa issuance. Please follow the subsequent guidance to determine whether or not this applies to you:

    If your visa is annotated “NIE under P.P. on Novel Coronavirus,” you must enter the U.S. within 30 days of visa issuance. If your travel will take place 30 days or more after the issuance of the visa, please respond to this message with a photo of your visa along with the planned date of travel. An interview will generally not be required, but may be requested if necessary.

    If your visa is annotated “NIE under P.P. on Risk to Labour Market,” or there is no annotation in your visa, this regulation does not apply to you, and you may travel at a time that is convenient.

    Please note that upon entering the United States, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States, and determine how long a traveller may stay.

    Regards,

    Consular Information Unit
    U.S. Consulate General
    220, Anna Salai
    Chennai 600 006
    India

    Reply
    • Hi Sunil,

      While you have applied for stamping in dropbox did you prepared NIE template for providing justification for the need for travel? I am processing and trying to apply for the same and require to prepare the reasons so need help in preparing the justification.

      Reply
  18. Hi Kumar,

    As from previous thread, I just got my visa for H1B with issuance date of Sept 23, 2020 but I don’t have this exemption “NIE” annotations. What should I do? Am I allowed to travel back to US? Please help!

    Or anyone who were in a same boat and able to get entry?

    Reply
  19. I, got my visa stamping via drop box completed in Pune, new VFS office in Wanowrie. Process is very easy, very few people. There is no travel within 30 days mentioned on the passport or neither did the representative say so. I would like to request please dont be so scared or concerned. We all are doing everything legally and officially. I also got the NIE under PP on risk to labor market – means National Interest Exception under Presidential Proclamation on risk to labor market. Only means we are an exception and are allowed to get visa and travel as well.
    Though I had clicked photo, my hair were untied so they requested me to get another photograph 2 for 250 INR to meet their criteria.

    Reply
  20. Hello,
    I asked this question to Kolkata consulate & here’s their response:

    “Dear Sir/Madam,

    Thank you for contacting the U.S. Consulate,Kolkata.

    In response to your query, currently there is no restriction that the applicant must travel to the U.S. within 30 days of visa approval.

    Please check out the COVID-19 alerts information on travel.state.gov before you plan your travel.”

    Reply
  21. Hi Kumar, I had the same question since many weeks as my family is travelling after 30 days of their visa approval using EA under NIE. Today I emailed Chennai consulate with this question and received the response from them as below.

    “Hello, thank you for reaching out.
    An exception to Presidential Proclamation 10052 remains valid for use even if after 30 days from the time of issuance.
    Regards,
    Consular Information Unit
    U.S. Consulate General, Chennai”

    What I understood from their email is that we can travel even after 30 days ?, can you please confirm ?

    Regards,
    Suresh V

    Reply
  22. The travel state gov site says,
    “`Note, a national interest exception is not required if the principal applicant is not subject to P.P. 10052 (e.g. if the principal was in the United States on the effective date, June 24, or has a valid visa that the principal will use to seek entry to the United States).“`

    So, if the principal H1 applicant was in US on june 24th, then the H4 visa applicant shouldn’t get NIE annotated, is the understanding right, could anyone confirm?

    Reply
    • My understanding is same too. But as far as I checked H4 issued through emergency appt got tagged with NIE. Its crazy.

      Reply
      • Hi Kumar, I had the same question since many weeks as my family is travelling after 30 days of their visa approval using EA under NIE. Today I emailed Chennai consulate with this question and received the response from them as below.

        “Hello, thank you for reaching out.
        An exception to Presidential Proclamation 10052 remains valid for use even if after 30 days from the time of issuance.
        Regards,
        Consular Information Unit
        U.S. Consulate General, Chennai”

        What I understood from their email is that we can travel even after 30 days ?, can you please confirm ?

        Regards,
        Suresh V

        Reply

Leave a Comment