Information on the Expansion of National Interest Exceptions for Travel

While routine nonimmigrant visa services remain heavily impacted, U.S. Embassy Stockholm continues to provide emergency and mission critical visa services to applicants exempted from COVID-19 related Presidential Proclamations. For more information on the presidential proclamations, see  the travel.state website. Exceptions to the proclamations fall into the following categories: students, investors, academics, public health professionals, government officials, crewmembers, family members of U.S. citizens and residents, those needing medical treatment, humanitarian exceptions, and others whose travel is in the U.S. national interest for economic or national security reasons.  While the Embassy aims to process cases as soon as practicable, there is likely to be increased wait times due to substantial backlogs. 

Travelers Without Valid Visas 

If you believe that you fall into any of the above categories, need to travel immediately, and require a visa, please follow the guidance provided at:  to request an emergency appointment.  

Applicants for H1B, H2B, H4, L and certain J categories covered by  Presidential Proclamation 10052  should request an appointment only if you have reason to believe you may qualify for one of the exceptions listed in the Proclamation found on the White House website

 Travelers With Valid Visas 

 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 travelers that already have valid visas must receive approval for a national interest exception prior to travel.  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 (if applicable) 
  • 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. 

 Limitations of National Interest Exceptions for Travel 

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

 All individuals are reminded that their admission remains subject to a determination by Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry and that they may be subject to a 14-day quarantine upon arrival.  Furthermore, all travelers must fly into one of 15 airports specifically designated for international arrivals listed on the DHS website.