Expansion of National Interest Exception Travel

Eligible travelers 

As of July 15, the United States Embassy in Oslo is offering emergency nonimmigrant visa services to individuals in the following categories: students, investors, academics, public health professionals, government officials, crewmembers, family members of U.S. citizens and residents, those needing medical treatment, humanitarian exceptions, and others whose travel is in the U.S. national interest for economic or national security reasons.  While the Embassy aims to process cases as soon as practicable, there is likely to be increased wait times due to substantial backlogs.

 Travelers Without Valid Visas 

If you believe that you fall into any of the above categories, need to travel immediately, and require a visa, please follow the guidance provided at: http://cdn.ustraveldocs.com/no/no-niv-expeditedappointment.asp, to request an emergency appointment.   If you are applying for a petition-based visa such as an H, L, O, or P visa, please email us at oslovisa@state.gov to schedule your appointment; you will not be able to book your appointment online.

 We strongly recommend that all current and prospective F-1 and M-1 students review the comprehensive Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) FAQ and clarifying questions for students for fall 2020. This includes important new information about full course of study requirements and online learning, Form I-20, employment, and the SEVIS fee.  Please note that new students beginning their program may not travel to attend schools that are only offering online instruction, even if they hold a valid student visa.  Admission to the United States is a matter for CBP officials at the U.S. Port of Entry and all travelers are subject to questioning. No assurances are given in advance.

 Applicants for H1B, H2B, H4, L and certain J categories covered by Presidential Proclamation 10052 should request an appointment only if you have reason to believe you may qualify for one of the exceptions listed in the Proclamation here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspending-entry-aliens-present-risk-u-s-labor-market-following-coronavirus-outbreak/.

 Travelers With Valid Visas 

Existing students with valid F or M visas and a valid I-20 form may travel to the United States without notifying the embassy to request an exception.  If a program is exclusively offering online instruction, students may return to the United States only if they were enrolled at a U.S. school on March 9, 2020.  Please see the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) FAQ and clarifying questions for students for fall 2020 for more guidance.

 All other travelers that already have valid visas must receive approval for a national interest exception prior to travel.  To do so, travelers must send the following information to oslovisa@state.gov:

 1.     A scanned copy of their visa

2.     A scanned copy of their passport biographic page

3.     A few sentences explaining the purpose of travel

Travelers should allow three business days for the Embassy to review their documents and qualifications.  Travelers will be notified by e-mail if they receive approval for an exception.

Limitations of National Interest Exception Travel

Although travelers approved for a national interest exception will be issued full-validity visas, the exception is only valid for a single entry within 30 days of approval.  An individual who departs the United States and wishes to return must be re-assessed for a new national interest exception.

All individuals are reminded that their admission remains subject to a determination by Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry and that they may be subject to a 14-day quarantine upon arrival.  Furthermore, all travelers must fly into one of 15 airports specifically designated for international arrivals listed here.