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Limited Travel from Schengen Area to U.S. Allowed

Despite the continuing pandemic, effective the week of July 20, certain business travelers, investors, treaty traders, academics, and students may qualify for national interest exceptions under Presidential Proclamations (PPs) 9993 (Schengen Area). Qualified business and student travelers who are applying for or have valid visas or ESTA authorization may travel to the United States even as PPs 9993 and 9996 remain in effect following the procedures below.

According to information provided by the U.S embassy and consulates in Germany, the following travelers may now qualify to travel to the U.S.:

Public Health: Travel as a public health or healthcare professional or researcher to alleviate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, or to continue ongoing research in an area with substantial public health benefit (e.g. cancer or disease research).

Students: All students, and their dependents, traveling to the United States on an F or M visa to pursue a full course of study or on a J visa to participate in an exchange program as a bona fide student.

Academics: All exchange visitors and their dependents traveling to the United States on J visas in the following categories: Professors, Research Scholars, Short Term Scholars, or Specialists.

Investors: Travel in connection with investment or trade in the U.S. economy that generates a substantial economic impact, including investors and treaty-traders on E visas and the senior-level employees who provide strategic direction or expertise essential to the success of the investment, and their dependents.

Economic: Temporary travel that provides a substantial economic benefit to the U.S. economy, including:
"Technical experts and specialists to install, service, maintain or receive training for vessels, machinery, and other specialized equipment used by the U.S. and foreign firms with a substantial investment in the United States. Travel is temporary in nature and for a defined period of time.

Senior-level managers and executives, and their dependents, who provide the strategic direction necessary for the success of the company or venture.

Professional athletes, dependents, and essential staff who enter the United States to participate in major sporting events, which bolster the U.S. economy."

Business travelers, investors, academics, J-1 students, and treaty traders who believe they fall under one of the exception categories above may now be eligible to apply for a visa. If you have already a valid visa or ESTA registration the appropriate U.S. embassy or consulate must be contacted to initiate a request for a national interest exception. A final determination, if the national interest exception is granted, will be made by a consular officer either at the time of the visa interview for new applicants or via email for existing visa holders and ESTA travelers.

This article is for general information only. For legal advice, please contact us. The content of this article is not guaranteed to be complete, correct, or current.
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