NAICU Washington Update

Pathway to U.S. Eased for International Students

July 30, 2021

The Department of State has confirmed that continuing students do not need a new I-20 for entering the United States under the National Interest Exemption (NIE).  The Department also clarified that Students with valid F-1 or M-1 visas traveling to begin or continue an academic program (including Optional Practical Training or OPT) do not need to contact an embassy or consulate to seek an individual NIE to travel.  Students can enter the U.S. no more than 30 days before the start of their academic program.  

Students seeking to apply for new F-1 or M-1 visas should check the status of visa services at the nearest embassy or consulate.  Those applicants who are found to be otherwise qualified for an F-1 or M-1 visa will automatically be considered for an NIE to travel.  

NIE eligibility for students who have been present in Brazil, China, India, Iran, or South Africa applies only to programs that begin on or after August 1, 2021.

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