When a US Presidential Proclamation(PP) like PP 10199 that bans travelers from a country like India to enter the US is in effect, you cannot enter the US as you would do normally. You need to either be exempt as part of the proclamation or get a National Interest Exception (NIE) to either travel to the US or get a US visa stamp in your passport. To get NIE approved by the consulate, you would need to submit a letter of justification for NIE.
For H1B Visa holders to get NIE, they need to submit a letter that justifies their travel to the US indicating that they are part of “vital support for critical infrastructure”. H1B Visa holders need to be part of 16 Critical Infrastructure Sectors as defined by Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to get NIE approval. Many of our users from the community have submitted NIE requests and got approvals, below is based on all of their successes. Thanks to all of our community for helping and sharing the templates.
Purpose of the NIE Letter, Any Official Format ?
The goal of the NIE justification letter or simply NIE letter from the company is to highlight to the US Consular Officer that your day-to-day work is part of critical infrastructure and you need to be physically present in the US to execute your activities. The important part is to highlight why you need to be working physically from the US, instead of working remotely from your country.
Any Official NIE Justificaiton Letter format given by US Consulate
There is no defined Official NIE justification letter format that is given by the US consulate or US Embassy. It is up to the company and the individual applying for the NIE to give proper justification and submit proofs as needed.
US Consulates across the globe have given the process and the template or format of the email that you need to send them and what information has to be included in it. You need to check the US Consulate or Embassy website in your respective country to get the correct format of the email. As an example, we will look at the NIE email format for India below.
NIE Email Template for India : Below is the email format that was given by US Consulates and Embassy in India for sending the NIE request. You would usually attach the NIE Justification Letter along with the email to get NIE approved.
- Email US Consulate that issued your Non-immigrant visa with the below details. It should be in English only.
- Last name : Your family or last name
- First name: Your first name
- Date of birth: Your date of Birth
- Place of birth: Your place of birth as in Passport
- Country of citizenship: Your country of citizenship
- Passport number: Your passport number
- Visa Number* and Category: Your visa number and category of the visa. The Visa number is the Red Color number on the visa foil, it will appear at the lower right of the visa. Check US Visa Sample, meaning for more info
- Travel dates: Your planned and confirmed travel dates with itinerary
- Travel Purpose and National Interest Category that you fall under with clear justification of the same : You need to provide details about the NIE Category that you fall under and give details on why you are qualified under NIE and the need for your travel.
- Send the above to the below email addresses
- US Embassy New Delhi: NewDelhiNIE@state.gov
- US Consulate Chennai: ChennaiNIE@state.gov
- US Consulate Hyderabad: HyderabadNIE@state.gov
- US Consulate Kolkata: KolkataNIE@state.gov
- US Consulate Mumbai: MumbaiNIE@state.gov
- If you want to call them, check more contact details at : US Consulates India Contact info – Email, Phone Numbers.
NIE Justification Letter General Format, Key points
You need to get the NIE justification letter on the company letterhead signed by the relevant authority like HR, Project Head, CEO, etc. Based on many successful user experiences, below are the key points or ideas that you need to consider and include as many as you can when crafting the NIE letter. We will look at few samples shared by users after this section.
Key points to include in NIE Letter for H1B Visa
- If your Company or Project you are working on is classified as one in 16 Critical Infrastructure Sector in US as per Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). This is a must requirement.
- How your work as H1B holder is classified as “Vital Support for Critical Infrastructure sector“. Need to explain, what is that do you do in your job to support the same. You can include all the technical stuff like roles and responsibilites.
- Why you cannot work remotely from your home country and need to present in US.
- What is the impact, if you cannot travel to US and support the project or your company and how it can impact the Critical Infrastructure.
- If there is any deadline or criticality with the work you do, you should highlight that.
- If you can get any numbers or metrics like loss to US economy, impact to customers, anything that is around that would be great help.
General Structure, Content of NIE Letter for H1B
Below is the typical structure that you can follow to craft the NIE Letter.
- Give brief intro about petitioner/ employer, applicant
- The main reason to write a letter (requesting NIE )
- How your role and company helps to meet critical infrastructure requirements
- How your company or the work you do falls under critical infrastructure Sectors
- Highlight the specific NIE category as per the CISA guidelines (https://www.cisa.gov/identifying-critical-infrastructure-during-covid-19)
- Why you qualify for NIE and how your travel is essential to the critical sector
- Your job role and responsibilities, including day to day activites
- Why your physical presence is required to carry out your job
- Mention any specific project/ critical timeline that is related to your current situation, if any.
- Mention about how your skills, experience and knowledge is essential to role
- How you are only or one of few people in team to do this role and you need to be in US for the same
- If there is a delay in you going back to US and joining company, how much finacial loss may occur to company, if your company can justify this ( optional)
- Also, you can add the loss or delays in critical sector that you work in, if you do not travel. If there is a bigger impact to economic growth, you can state that as well. Some of these are not always available, but if you have any, do not miss to include.
- Based on all the above, write request for NIE at the end.
Alternative Simple NIE Letter Structure shared by User
- At start give details about your organization its work.
- Next paragraph write about your relationship with your organization like role, experience how much year with this organization.
- Next how your organization giving services to client and your job duties
- Next how you need to be in USA to perform these job duties and those cannot be done from remotely.
- Hence we request you to provide Visa under NIE.
- If any details are needed please contact signed personal.
National Interest Exception(NIE) Letter Samples for H1B
You need to get the below NIE justification letters or NIE Letters on the company letterhead signed by the relevant authority like HR, Project Head, CEO, etc.
Anything within < > have to be replaced with your relevant information based on your location, job, and situation.
Below is a general NIE Letter Sample and few samples by area that were used by our users to get NIE approved. Do not use them as they are, customize them for your situation.
General NIE Letter Sample Format for H1B
The Consular Officer, NonImmigrant Visa Unit
< US Consulate or US Embassy name where you are attending >
<Address of US Consulate or US Embassy >
Re: Request for National Interest Exception(NIE): < Critical Infra Sector Name >for <Applicant Name>
Please accept this letter requesting National Interest Exception for <Applicant Name>, who is working at our company and supporting the critical infrastructure sector < critical infrastructure sector name>. As a background, <Applicant Name>, is currently employed by < Company Name >, located at <address of the company >. <Applicant Name > is working on H-1B Visa since <Date> and recently traveled to <Country Name > for <write the purpose of the travel and any critical situation or need for the applicant’s travel>
<Company Name > provides < description of the services provided that are classified under critical infrastructure sector>. Our company <Company Business impact or impact to economy, if available>. <Applicant Name> works as a <role of the Applicant > supporting our company’s services operating in <Critical infrastructure sector> . <his or her> day-to-day activities involve < list out of the roles and responsibilities of applicant, what they do, you can add technical information>. <His or Her> work impacts < US Economy or Company related metrics in USD that show the value of the employee’s work>
<Applicant Name>’s job duties and day to day activities need presence in the US as <<State the reason why the activities cannot be done remotely like working with people in US, data centers in US, in-person on the ground discussions, etc. >.
<Applicant Name>’s job duties cannot be done remotely and need <his or her> presence in the US to carry out all the activities as described above in the critical infrastructure sector < sector name>, we request you to grant permission to <travel to US on H1B Visa or get Emergency Visa stamping appointment issue Visa
As explained above, we believe the <Applicant Name> meets the National Interest Exception requirements given his critical role in < Critical Sector > at <company name>. On behalf of <company name>, I formally request you to consider thisNational Interest Exception request for <Applicant Name> and allow him to attend H-1B Visa Interview and also allow him to enter the United States to continue his work after H-1B Visa approval.
If you have any questions, please reach out to me at the contact information listed below.
Thank you for considering our request,
< Designation, Contact Information with email, phone number >
Sample 1 : NIE Justification Sample Letter for H1B – Electronics Role
The below letter was printed on Company Letter Head and signed by the relevant authority at the company certifying the same.
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
Sample 2 : National Interest Exception(NIE) – Healthcare Role
The below letter was printed on Company Letter Head and signed by the Company Risk Manager certifying the same. It can be anyone else as well.
United States Embassy
Non-Immigrant Visa Unit
Re: Requesting Expedited Visa Appointment under National Interest Exception: Healthcare/Public Health for ‘Applicant Name’
Please accept this letter requesting an Expedited Visa Appointment and National Interest Exception for ‘Applicant Name’ for the Healthcare/Public Health critical infrastructure sector. ‘Applicant Name’ recently traveled to India in order to complete necessary H-1B stamping, as well as to take care of his parents as multiple family members were affected by COVID-19 and a few had passed away. Prior to cancellation, he had scheduled the VAC Appointment on May 3, 2021 and Consular appointment on May 11, 2021. ‘Applicant Name’ meets the National Interest Exception requirements given his critical role in patient safety and advocacy at ‘Organization Name’. On behalf of ‘Organization Name’, I formally request that he is allowed prompt re-admission to the United States. Below is the necessary information to process his exception:
- Last name:
- First name:
- Date of birth:
- Place of birth:
- Country of citizenship: India
- Passport number:
- Visa Number and Category: Current Visa Number & F-1; I-797A approved, in India for H-1B stamping Travel dates: 04/24/2021 – 06/12/2021 (flexible tickets to fly back upon stamping completion)
‘Applicant Name’ has been employed at ‘Organization Name’ since August 2018 as a Job title. ‘Organization Name’ is a healthcare system of more than 1,700 employees across multiple locations and serving several counties. ‘Applicant Name’ serves in a critical role to patient safety for our entire health system. He is a valuable member of our Quality Department which is currently at a critical staffing level of only five employees. Ever since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, ‘Applicant’s Name’ has additionally been working as the System Manager for the Safety Reporting System at ‘Organization Name’. Given ‘Applicant Name’ level of skills and expertise in managing the Safety Reporting System, ‘Organization Name’ is experiencing an undue burden in his absence. This role is important in identifying the trends of safety issues across the system and collaborating with management to address the same immediately.
‘Applicant Name’ qualifies for National Interest Exemption as he is a Critical Infrastructure Worker based on the following points (Note: Taken Directly from CISA Guidelines):
‘Applicant Name’’s role is critical to the daily operations at ‘Organization Name’ and in ensuring patient and staff safety, incident management, and patient advocacy. He traveled to India with a notion to return to the US as soon as received his passport with stamped H-1B visa on or before June 12, 2021. Any further delay in his return will cause an undue burden on the operations at ‘Organization Name’ as a whole and specifically to the Quality Department. Therefore, we request you to kindly provide an Expedited Visa Appointment on the Urgent Business Travel basis due to the critical nature of his role.
We look forward to the rapid re-admission of ‘Applicant Name’ to the United States to resume employment with ‘Organization Name’, and we respectfully request that you kindly extend all due courtesies. Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me at ‘email address’ or via phone at xxx-xxx-xxxx.
Risk Manager for the Organization”
Sample 3 : NIE Sample Email for H1B – Communications
Below is the email sent with relevant attachments by the user.
This email is a request to provide an NIE letter for my emergency travel to the United States of America. I have traveled to India for my marriage prior to the travel ban. I have an urgent need to travel back to the states without which I will not be able to work. My leadership from XXX Communications has asked me to request this letter.
Please review the details below:
- Last name :
- First name:
- Date of birth:
- Place of birth:
- Country of citizenship: INDIA
- Passport number:
- Visa Number :
- Category: H1B
- H1B Case Number:
- Travel dates: Immediate/ASAP
- Travel Purpose: Occupation
- National Interest :
My work requires me to be in the United States as it deals with software implemented on multiple devices such as Roku, FireTv, setup box, Chromecast, etc. which provides proprietary video content that is denied access outside the United States.
Please find the required documents attached in this email.
Please reach out to me in case of further questions or information like recent paychecks etc.
I sincerely request you to consider my request and provide me with an approval letter.
I truly appreciate the time and effort for reading this email.
You can also check 15 NIE User Experiences, Letters, Travel to the US
Sample 4 : NIE Sample Email for H1B
Below is the email that is sent to the US Consulate
National Interest Exception (NIE) Request
- Last Name:
- First Name:
- Date of Birth:
- Place of Birth:
- Country of Citizenship:
- Passport Number:
- Travel dates:
Travel Purpose and National Interest Category that you fall under with clear justification of the same:
Dear Sir or Madam,
This letter is submitted along with related documentation for National Interest Exception for me. I am an employee of <Company Name>. I travelled to India to take care of my ailing parents, to attend my aunt’s funeral and get my visa stamped (My most recent visa expired on April, 30th 2021). Due to rising covid cases and lockdown in Delhi followed by President Proclamation 10199, I am stuck in India and therefore seek approval for visa stamping and travel to USA under National Interest Exception.
Information about <Company Name> Inc.
<Company Name>, one of the world’s largest full-service restaurant companies, is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). As of February 20, 2018, the corporate name was changed from <Company Name>, Inc. to <Company Name>, Inc. The company stock continues to be traded under the ticker symbol, “<COMAPNY STOCK NAME>.”
Established in 2007 and based in <City, State>, <Company Name> brings together <Product> and <Product> celebrating and supporting each brand’s individuality, and leveraging their nearly 100 years of hospitality experience and expertise. <Company Name>, through its subsidiaries, franchises restaurants under the Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar and IHOP brands. <Company Name> has re-energized both brands through enhanced marketing, extensive menu innovation, and operational strategies. With approximately 3,700 locations in 18 countries, <COMAPNY NAME> empowers, supports and grows the world’s most-loved restaurant brands because we believe community happens when people eat together.
<Company Name> is committed to conducting its business in accordance with applicable laws, rules and regulations and the highest standards of business conduct, and to full and accurate financial disclosure in compliance with applicable law. For more information about <Company Name>, visit our website at <Company Website>.
Detailed description of my work:
I am currently employed by <Company Name> in the role of <role name> for maintaining and supporting <Company Name>’s PeopleSoft Financial Systems infrastructure. PeopleSoft is the core financial ERP (Enterprise Resource and Planning) system of <Company Name> which is a conglomerate of organization’s financial modules – General ledger, Accounts Payables, Asset Management, Billing, Contracts, Inventory, Order Management, Purchasing, Real Estate and Account Receivables. I am responsible for operations and availability of this ERP environment which is having multiple deployments along with Oracle database and Oracle Cloud Services and I am the only person employed by <Company Name> to perform this role.
My responsibilities involve handling critical company data, personal data, maintaining, and troubleshooting aforementioned financial systems, DevOps, change management and securitization of <Company Name> Financial data and systems. My day to day responsibilities involve interaction with system users, data, system security, IT policy changes pertaining to financial systems and audits – both security and business/financial audits.
Current projects and activities that I am part of:
- Interaction with IT leadership: I must constantly interact with leadership of the company for our systems’ future roadmap, work with cyber security team to mitigate security vulnerabilities and work on other DevOps tasks related to PeopleSoft infrastructure.
- <Project name> I engage with Chief Financial Officer and his team, internal and external auditors on every quarter and year ends for auditing PeopleSoft Financials data from IT side. It is my responsibility to sign off all change management protocols each year pertaining to changes to financial data and software code. Being a publicly traded company <Company Name>’s PeopleSoft Financials Systems are under SOX compliance.
- <Project name> Improve Finance and Accounting processes by enhancing SABRE, our billing module. I will be responsible for creating PeopleSoft Financials data link to data warehouse which is used for business intelligence (BI) and for change management of SABRE code.
- <Project name> Improve banking service levels by transitioning to a new provider, this involves switching over to a new banking provider and fully integrating it with PeopleSoft. I am involved in establishing host to host interface from PeopleSoft Financials data center to the new banking provider.
- Yearly 1099 Updates: Form 1099 – MISC is for reporting miscellaneous income outside regular income of businesses. Every year IRS makes changes to Form 1099 – MISC reporting and the changes need to be implemented in PeopleSoft Payables module. I am the key system resource who drives this change for PeopleSoft Financials and it involves demonstration, training, system and integration testing of new 1099 changes. There are strict deadline, laid down by IRS, for reporting therefore the implementation of Form 1099 – MISC changes cannot miss timelines.
Job Title: <Job title in LCA >
I am employed by <Company Name> as <Job title> and I report to Sr. Manager <Company Name>’s IT Corporate Systems. As per the regulations, 8 CFR 214.2(h)(4)(iii)(A), it is a specialty occupation. As part of specialized occupation I am responsible for: maintenance, testing and support of PeopleSoft systems include upgrades, patches, new releases, system optimization and implementations. Some of my specialized duties are:
- PeopleSoft Systems DevOps which is combination of practices and tools that enhances or maximizes an organizations ability to deliver application changes.
- Install patches and fixes for PeopleSoft Internet Architecture for the development, test, and production environments.
- Install, configure, and maintain application servers, process schedulers, web servers, report servers, and file servers.
- Install and configure Tuxedo, Web Logic, Reports, and Process Servers.
- Provide technical and production support for existing PeopleSoft applications.
- Troubleshoot development and production application problems across multiple environments and operating platforms.
To carry above tasks
National Interest Exception Category
As part of President Proclamation 10199, certain non-immigrants can travel to USA who come under the National Interest Exception (NIE). As part of this NIE list, my work and job responsibilities include:
Vital support for critical infrastructure:
I support <Company Name> PeopleSoft Financials and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure for our approximately 3700 restaurant locations (owned or franchised) across 18 countries. With restaurant locations and information technology systems, my job responsibilities come under the Food and Agriculture Sector (<Company Name> products> ) of Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and Information Technology Sector of CISA, both identified as Critical Infrastructure under Covid19 and thereby part of NIE.
With 3700 restaurant locations and approximately 200000 team members employed by franchise partners, PeopleSoft Financial Systems and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is a critical application for managing <Company Name>’s finances. My work involves maintenance, support and troubleshooting PeopleSoft Financials Systems of <Company Name>, an Enterprise Resource Planning solution, which is conglomerate of our main business processes as mentioned above.
I have been an employee of <Company Name> for almost 5 years and resuming work in USA is very important for me and my company. To meet financial deadlines and to operate our financial system securely and under audit compliance my presence is required in USA. I am the only resource handling these responsibilities and projects from PeopleSoft and Oracle Cloud infrastructure side and I cannot perform these duties from India as it will impact my company’s operations due to data integrity compliance, geography and time zone gaps, both financially and from the perspective of policy compliance and cyber security. Even during the peak phase of pandemic our team was operating without any shutdowns or interruptions. Therefore, please accept my request and grant me NIE to travel. I have also provided my position confirmation letter from <Company Name> along with this and other drop box documents.
Sample 5 : National Interest Exception(NIE) Sample Letter Format for H1B
Below is the general format you can follow
- In the first few lines ( 4 to 5 lines) give a summary of your request stating that this is a request for NIE to travel to US, so that they get the context.
- Next talk about your company and their business on a very high level. Maybe 4 to 5 lines. If your company is publicly traded mention it’s stock short name on NYSE, give estimate of employees, rough estimate of revenue, locations where it operates like 5 countries or offices in LA and NY, etc.
- In next paragraph, talk about your role and the day to day tasks you do. Remember to talk about tasks not your skill sets. Mention about your current projects, routine tasks, mention teams that you deal with. Make sure to connect it with company revenue, company operations (not just your team’s operations), align each of your task to your company business, to show that work that you are doing is directly helping your business.
- For example, if you are in financial domain you can talk about revenue, taxes, cyber security, SOX audit, IT roadmap that you work on, etc. from the side of technology.
- Your skill set, this is the area where you define how you accomplish tasks on item number 2 above . remember you are H1 be holder, you are expected to have specialized skill set don’t use java developer, Python programmer, 5 year experienced in database administration NO. You have to show specialized skill set, like “I manage multiple cluster of Oracle database for a highly redundant and fault tolerant architecture coupled with RAID redundancy at OS level because user base is distributed in different timezones and we are expected to provide 99.99% availability.”
- NIE justification, most crucial, you have to mention the specific critical infra sector , like IT and there too you have to pin point where you lie, you cannot say I am 15 years exp. IT profesional. No , you have to again align your skills with sector. Also, use MS Word footnotes to give link to that specific critical infra sector page. It does not matter that the hard copy cannot access URLs, still give.it.
Lastly, write an endnote asking to consider and grant you NIE based on the sectors that you found
What has been your experience with the NIE format ? Share your experience and format in the comments below.