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mgy

Using National Interest Exception to travel to the US - anyone with J1 done this?

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Hi all,

 

I am a J1 visa holder research scholar from the EU currently living in the US. I want to visit my home country in the Schengen area and then return to the US this August. I think this should now be possible by getting a National Interest Exception (NIE) when I get home. However, the Consulate has been unable to tell me what exactly the requirements are for getting a NIE at the moment. I have a valid visa and a signed DS-2019, however, my research is not biomedical and/or COVID-related. Does anyone have any experience requesting a NIE in a Schengen country and then successfully traveling back to the US? Do they just automatically give the NIE to every J1 visa holder who is not in a banned category (au pairs, etc)?

 

I would be very grateful for any kind of help with this.

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Hello,

 

I am planning to apply for a National Interest Exception as well. I am currently in the states waiting for OPT, and I am a Hungarian national (Schengen zone). I want to travel home to get a J1, because it seems faster than the OPT. I would like to ask about you experience. It seems to me that you got yours through the Consulate in the states, and not from your home country's US embassy. Is that right? What argument did you make in the letter?  I heard that some computer scientist was denied at the London embassy right away to receive the NIE. I also heard that the London embassy has the earliest visa appointments next year, so maybe that explains why was he denied.

 

Thanks so much!

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Hi there,

 

what a coincidence, I am Hungarian as well!

 

Unfortunately, I am in a slightly different boat - I already have a J1 that is valid through the end of the year (I got it in Hungary last year), and all I needed was a national interest exception to be able to *travel* to the US (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/national-interest-exceptions-from-certain-travelers-from-the-schengen-area-uk-and-ireland.html), not a national interest exception to be able to *obtain* a new visa (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/exceptions-to-p-p-10014-10052-suspending-entry-of-immigrants-non-immigrants-presenting-risk-to-us-labor-market-during-economic-recovery.html). So I don't really have relevant experience here I'm afraid. A colleague of mine did get an F1 renewal in the States without traveling to her home country, so I think maybe your first course of action should be to call the Embassy there and ask about your options. Or maybe call your Uni/workplace and ask them if they can help with getting a different type of visa.

 

I hope you'll find out something useful.

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Hello,

 

Thanks for the answer my fellow countryman! Actually research scholars are still eligible for J1, so I need the exemption for the entry, just like you. F1s can travel now without any restriction.

 

Here are some info that can be relevant for others on the forum. The way they process J1s right now depends on the embassy, and some of them delay the process time even for eligible visa categories. It seems that the embassy is not willing to issue a travel exemption letter for me for my OPT status, although one can travel with a pending OPT.

 

Best,

S

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