On July 2, 2021, the Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) posted an update to the EVP Information on Coronavirus page requiring national interest exception for exchange visitors (J visa holders) who transit through one of the 33 countries subject to Presidential Proclamations relating to COVID-19 during the 14-day period prior to their planned entry or attempted entry to the US:
“TRANSITING [sic] COUNTRIES WITH TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS: Do exchange visitors who transit through one of the 33 countries subject to travel restrictions on their way to the United States need to apply for National Interest Exceptions? Yes. Even when exchange visitors’ travel originates in a country that is not subject to a Presidential Proclamation, if the exchange visitors transit through one of thodr [sic] 33 countries on the way to the United States, the exchange visitors need National Interest Exceptions. The four Presidential Proclamations that suspend entry into the United States of all noncitizens who were physically present in any of 33 countries during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States are: Presidential Proclamation 9984 (China); Presidential Proclamation 9992 (Iran); Presidential Proclamation 10143 (Schengen Area, United Kingdom, Ireland, Brazil, and South Africa); and Presidential Proclamation 10199 (India).
For the latest guidance on COVID-19 Travel Restrictions and Exceptions, please refer to the following website: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/covid-19-travel-restrictions-and-exceptions.html.”