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Volume XI, Number 175

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection Changes National Interest Exception Adjudication Policy

Effective immediately, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has changed its policy regarding adjudicating requests for National Interest Exceptions (NIE) to Presidential Proclamations 9984, 9992 and 10143 which restrict travel to the U.S. from China, Iran, the Schengen States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, and South Africa. Based on the policy change, CBP will only consider processing NIE requests for urgent humanitarian reasons or those involving national security and/or law enforcement matters.  CBP will no longer process new NIE requests regardless of whether an applicant will provide vital support for critical infrastructure.  All such NIE requests must now be submitted to and adjudicated by U.S. Department of State (DOS) consulates abroad. Unfortunately, this change is expected to cause delays in NIE processing, as routine operations are still suspended at U.S. consulates.  As a result, NIE processing is taking up to 60 days at certain consulates. 

In light of this change, those foreign nationals holding valid nonimmigrant employment-based visas (like the H-1B, L-1 or E, for example) and who depart the U.S. prior to obtaining the NIE may be subject to lengthy wait times for NIE requests to be processed and therefore may want to consider spending 14 days in a third country not subject to U.S. travel restrictions in order to return to the U.S. without the NIE.

Copyright © 2021 Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 137
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Jennifer Cory, Womble Carlyle Law Firm, Charlotte North Carolina, Immigration LawAttorney

Jennifer Cory leads Womble Carlyle Immigration Solutions, which provides management of inbound immigration services for domestic and international employers and investors. Jennifer has practiced immigration law since 1995 and is certified as a Specialist in Immigration Law by the North Carolina State Bar.

Jennifer’s work focuses on employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant petitions, including, but not limited to, preparation of treaty investor/trader visa applications, H-1B temporary worker petitions and L-...

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Susan Ramos  North Carolina WBD Immigration Attorney Consular processing Humanitarian Relief  Workplace Compliance Spanish Speaking
Senior Counsel

Susan is an immigration lawyer with over fifteen years of experience assisting individuals, families, and employers in connection with assessing available U.S. immigration options.

Her practice includes preparing and filing individual, family-based, and employment-based petitions, immigrant and nonimmigrant visa applications, and waivers of inadmissibility. She assists with complex consular processing issues, complicated citizenship and naturalization issues, petitions for humanitarian relief, and removal defense. She advises employers regarding worksite compliance, conducting...

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