National Interest Exception Request Checklist


Please include answers to all questions below and required supporting documents in your email request for a National Interest Exception:

1. What country do you reside in?

2. Under which category are you seeking an NIE?

  • Humanitarian: Parents whose child will be born to surrogacy in the United States; anyone requiring urgent medical
    treatment in the United States; if you have an immediate family member in the United States who is gravely ill, or
    for bereavement travel.
  • Economic: Temporary travel that provides vital support for critical infrastructure; technical experts and specialists
    to install or maintain machinery and other specialized equipment; travel that provides a substantial economic
    benefit to the U.S. economy; pilots and air crew that are traveling for training, or aircraft pickup, delivery, or
  • Academic: All exchange visitors traveling to the United States in the following categories: Professors, Research
    Scholars, Short Term Scholars, Specialists, certain Au pairs and certain J-1 applicants who travel to participate in
    ECA identified exchange visitor programs for interns, summer work and travel, camp counselors, trainees, or
  • Other: Immigrant and fiancé(e) visa holders.

3. When do you intend to travel to the United States?

4. How does your purpose of travel require that you be physical present in the United States?

5. Attach a scanned copy of passport biographic page (for each individual requesting an NIE)

6. Attach a scanned copy of valid visa or ESTA (for each individual requesting an NIE)

7. Attach supporting documents related to your purpose of travel (letter from your employer, letter from physician, etc)

8. Have you received an NIE in the last 12 months? If yes, you may not need to submit another request. Find more information
on the website.

All of the above can be sent via email to with subject line “National Interest Exception”. Incomplete requests may encounter significant delays—please ensure all above questions are answered before submitting your request. It may take several weeks to process an NIE request.

Student visa applicants do not need to request an NIE in advance and you may be eligible to apply by mail. Find more information on our website.

The checklist can also be downloaded as PDF here. (PDF, 449KB)