Uniform Global National Interest Exceptions to COVID-19 Travel Restrictions
Office of the Spokesperson
In keeping with the Department of State’s commitment to facilitate legitimate travel to the United States, Secretary Blinken decided yesterday to apply several National Interest Exceptions to all regional travel restrictions currently in effect as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Students seeking to commence studies in the fall, certain academics, journalists, and individuals who provide critical infrastructure support in countries affected by a geographic COVID-19 restriction may now qualify for a National Interest Exception. This includes qualified applicants who have been present in Brazil, China, Iran, or South Africa.
The pandemic continues to limit the number of visas our embassies and consulates abroad are able to process. As always, visa applicants should check the website of the nearest Embassy or Consulate for the most up-to-date information about visa appointment availability.
As the global situation evolves, the Department continues to seek ways to process more visa applications, in line with science-based guidance from health authorities, and with the health and safety of staff and applicants as our priority.
For more information, please see our website: https://travel.state.