How to Request National Interest Exceptions for Travel

Eligible Travelers

While routine nonimmigrant visa services remain suspended, U.S. Embassy Stockholm continues to provide emergency visa services to applicants with urgent humanitarian travel needs, and certain categories of visas that are exempt from the current Presidential Proclamation.

Travelers with Valid Visas or Approved ESTA

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.

All Other Visa or ESTA Holders

All other travelers that already have a valid visa or ESTA authorization must receive approval for a national interest exception prior to travel.  Applicants for National Interest Exceptions must be legally resident and physically present in Sweden in order to apply. To do so, travelers must send an email with the subject line “National Interest Exception” that contains the following information to

  • A scanned copy of their visa or ESTA authorization
  • A scanned copy of their passport biographic page
  • Purpose of travel (and any supporting documents)
  • Proposed itinerary

Travelers should allow ten 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. Do not attempt to check in online or travel before you receive e-mail notification of your approval.

Travelers Without Valid Visas  

If you require a visa to travel to the United States, and have a life or death, urgent humanitarian need to travel immediately, please follow the guidance provided at:  to request an emergency appointment.

If your purpose of travel is not related to a humanitarian emergency, you may still follow the guidance above to request an expedited appointment. However, our ability to offer routine nonimmigrant visa appointments, including for petition-based employment visas, student visas, and exchange visitor visas, is extremely limited.

Please visit our Global Support Services (GSS) website for complete information on applying for a nonimmigrant U.S. visa, including a directory of nonimmigrant visa categories.

Limited Validity and Single Entry for All National Interest Exceptions

Although travelers approved for a national interest exception will be issued full-validity visas, the national interest 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 reassessed for a new national interest exception.

Mandatory COVID Testing and Quarantine Requirements for Travel

All airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel. Alternatively, travelers to the United .States. may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel. Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention testing requirement also includes testing and self-quarantine guidelines you must follow after your arrival in the United States.

All individuals are reminded that their admission remains subject to a determination by Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry.