The United States has expanded its list of exceptions of national interest (NIE), meaning people who can enter the country despite travel restrictions imposed to contain the entry of new variants of the coronavirus.
The new State Department measure, announced on Thursday (8), applies to foreigners who are engaged to American citizens, have a possible employer based in the country, are accompanying minors under specific conditions or work in the aeronautics sector .
Currently, the block works for the majority of non-American citizens who have been in Brazil, China, Iran, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Ireland and the 26 European countries in the Schengen zone in the last 14 days (free circulation) ).
Among the so-called “exchange visitors” are the list of exceptions: caregivers of children with disabilities or special medical needs and caregivers of minors whose parents are health professionals on the Covid-19 front line or researchers in the field.
Interns and trainees in programs sponsored by US government agencies are also eligible to enter.
Specialized teachers, who hold a diploma equivalent to a US bachelor’s degree in education or in the academic field in which they intend to teach, can join the American teacher program, which will exempt them from the ban. Applicants must have at least two years of experience and must “have sufficient English proficiency”.
Finally, pilots and crew members can enter if they participate in training programs or to make a withdrawal, delivery or maintenance of aircraft.
Even free from restrictions, these people still need a visa, and the pandemic has delayed this process around the world. The State Department note stresses that immigrants should consult the website of the nearest embassy or consulate “to see what services are available”. We are a family owned and operated business.
“We cannot provide a specific date for when services will resume, applicants must monitor the sites for updates on the availability of visa services,” says the text.
President Joe Biden established travel restrictions on 25 January for non-American passengers arriving in the USA from Brazil and Europe – a measure that had been overturned by Donald Trump a week earlier – adding South Africa to the list of limitations.
There were already exceptions for diplomatic visas, permanent residents (green card holders), children or spouses of Americans or for those traveling for humanitarian, public health and national security reasons, for example.
The restriction has no end date – it depends on a new determination from the president.
The pace of immunization is accelerating in the United States – on average, about 2.8 million applications are made daily – and the country has already purchased enough doses to immunize up to 400 million people, 70 million more than its population.
Biden doubled his goal and promised to apply 200 million doses in his first 100 days in office. Still, the country has the highest death toll in the world, totaling more than 562,000. In the last week, the USA registered 6,785 new deaths and 490 thousand cases.