Most nonimmigrant visa applicants will already be aware that on April 30, 2021, President Joseph R. Biden signed proclamation 10199 suspending the entry into the United States of certain nationals, who were physically present in any of a list of 33 countries, during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States. India is included on the list. That information can be found here.
Non-immigrants who are subject to the proclamation 10199 will require a National Interest Exception (NIE) to be able to travel to the U.S.
Until recently, it was not clear if a person currently in the United States pursuant to a nonimmigrant status could apply for and obtain a NIE prior to departure from the United States. However, a recent update from the U.S. Embassy in India has clarified that requests for NIEs cannot be pre-adjudicated for applicants who are not physically present in India. Effectively, one must be present in India to seek an exception pursuant to one of the exceptions under the NIE.
This update can be found here. We will continue to share updates on this important subject.