Published: July 15, 2021

Exchange Visitors on J-1 Visas

The U.S. Department of State recently released guidance clarifying that the exception/waiver process applies to non-student Exchange Visitors applying for J-1 visas or intending to enter or renter the U.S. in one of the following categories: research scholar, visiting professor, short-term scholar, or specialist.  Scholars who intend to apply for an Exchange Visitor (J-1) visa and/or enter (or return) to the U.S. as an Exchange Visitor should check the status of visa services at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate and inquire about how to apply for the national interest exception.

Extended Duration & Multiple Entries of National Interest Exception

Moreover, on July 6, 2021 the U.S. Department of State announced that, “Unless otherwise indicated, existing NIEs will be valid for 12 months from the date of approval and for multiple entries, as long as they are used for the purpose under which they were granted. The 12 month and multiple entry extension applies retroactively to all existing National Interest Exceptions approved in the last 12 months. Travelers who have been approved for a National Interest Exception may travel to the United States using their existing NIE if it was approved in the last 12 months and if the purpose of travel is the same as the purpose for which it was granted.”