Information for nonimmigrant visa applicants regarding National Interest Exceptions for Certain Travelers from China:
Effective April 26, 2021, the Secretary of State approved several National Interest Exceptions to regional travel restrictions imposed under Presidential Proclamations aimed at addressing the threat to public health by the COVID-19 pandemic. These National Interest Exceptions are in addition to previous determinations made by the Secretary of State. Current restrictions allow us to expand appointments for applicants in certain nonimmigrant visa categories, including all F visas, certain J, M, C1/D visas, and for emergency, mission-critical, travelers providing vital support of critical infrastructure and job creation. We are currently offering as many appointments as local conditions, resources, and safety considerations allow. We will resume routine nonimmigrant visa services in all other categories as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time. Direct travel to the United States from Mainland China remains restricted under Presidential Proclamation 9984 for other travelers not covered by a National Interest Exception or exempted by a Presidential Proclamation.
Information about the travel restrictions
- For information about National Interest Exceptions and travel restrictions related to the current Presidential Proclamations, click here.
- For frequently asked questions about visa processing during the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.
- For up-to-date guidance on Department of State travel policies, click here.
The Consular Sections of the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in China are responsible for providing visa services to those seeking to enter the United States for a temporary period and for those wishing to take up indefinite or permanent residence in the United States.
National Interest Exceptions – Additional Visa Category Update:
Effective April 26, 2021, the Secretary of State approved several National Interest Exceptions to regional travel restrictions imposed under Presidential Proclamations aimed at addressing the threat to public health by the COVID-19 pandemic. The exceptions cover other “academics,” including professors, research scholars, short term scholars, and specialists seeking to travel under an exchange visitor program (J visa), journalists (I visa), and certain other categories of vital travel. These exceptions also include students (F and M visas) who have been present in any country that had been subject to the Presidential Proclamations, including those who have been present in the People’s Republic of China.
For more information about the recent determination by the Secretary of State, please click here. For more information about qualifying for emergency or expedited visa interviews, visit USTravelDocs.com.
National Interest Exceptions – Update
As of April 8, 2021, the Secretary has determined that the travel of immigrants, fiancé(e) visa holders, certain exchange visitors, and pilots and aircrew traveling to the United States for training or aircraft pickup, delivery, or maintenance is in the national interest for purposes of approving exceptions under the geographic COVID Presidential Proclamations (9984, 9992, and 10143). For detailed guidance, please find more information here.
If you believe you may qualify for a National Interest Exception (NIE) based on these criteria, please email email@example.com or contact the call center for information on how to request an NIE. For more information about qualifying for emergency or expedited Visa interviews, visit USTravelDocs.com.
March 31 Expiration of Presidential Proclamation 10052
Presidential Proclamation 10052, which temporarily suspended the entry of certain H-1B, H-2B, J (for certain categories within the Exchange Visitor Program), and L nonimmigrants, expired on March 31, 2021. Visa applicants who have not yet been interviewed or scheduled for an interview will have their applications prioritized and processed in accordance with existing phased resumption of visa services guidance. Visa applicants who were previously refused visas due to the restrictions of Presidential Proclamation 10052 may reapply by submitting a new application including a new fee. Please keep in mind that Presidential Proclamation 9984, “Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus,” remains in effect for applicants applying for visas in and traveling from China. More information about the Proclamation can be found on our website here.
MRV Receipt Validity Extension
The U.S. Mission to China understands that many visa applicants have paid the visa application processing fee and are still waiting to schedule a visa appointment. We are working diligently to restore all routine visa operations as quickly and safely as possible. In the meantime, rest assured that the U.S. Mission will extend the validity of your payment (known as the MRV fee) until September 30, 2022, to allow all applicants who were unable to schedule a visa appointment as a result of the suspension of routine consular operations an opportunity to schedule and/or attend a visa appointment with the already paid fee. Please continue to monitor the website of our authorized partner for information on when we will return to routine visa operations. More information about U.S. visa application services is available at that website.
(Updated on April 2, 2021)
Beginning in November 2016, all travelers holding People’s Republic of China passports with 10-year U.S. B1/B2, B1 or B2 visas must enroll in the Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS) program. For more information on this program, please visit www.cbp.gov/EVUS .
Email: To reach a customer service representative via email, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Telephone: Please contact a customer service representative using one of these telephone numbers:
Callers in Beijing: 5679-4700 | Callers outside of Beijing: 010-5679-4700
Callers in Shanghai: 5191-5200 | Callers outside of Shanghai: 021-5191-5200
Callers in the United States: 703 665 1986
International callers: +1 703 665 1986
Visiting the Embassy or Consulate
Main Embassy Building: No. 55 An Jia Lou Lu, Beijing 100600
Huaxia Road, Zhujiang New Town, (near Exit B1 of the Zhujiang New Town subway station, Line 3 and Line 5)
Tianhe District, Guangzhou. All visa applicants scheduled for interviews should use the Consular Customer Entrance on Huaxia Road.
1038 West Nanjing Road, Westgate Mall 8th Floor, Shanghai 200041
52, 14th Wei Road, Heping District, Shenyang 110003