CBP Ports Resume Accepting NIEs for Schengen Area, U.K., Ireland, and Brazil

In late January 26, several CBP Ports of Entry (POEs at LAX, BWI, and EWR) indicated that they no longer had the authority to approve National Interest Exception (NIEs) related to the COVID-19 country-specific, health-related travel restrictions imposed on the Schengen Area, the U.K., Ireland, and Brazil recently maintained by the Biden Administration. The current administration also added South Africa to the list of countries with a restriction of entry effective on January 30, 2021. At the time, NIE requests relating to the health-related restrictions for China and Iran, and to immigrant-visa and nonimmigrant-visa suspensions, were not affected. The POEs also stated that they did not have jurisdiction yet for NIE requests relating to South Africa. However, these POEs report to once again to be accepting and processing NIEs, but only under limited circumstances. Note that most ports require that the NIE request first be made to the DOS, and only exigent requests will be accepted.


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