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U.S. Embassy Tbilisi Resumes Limited Visa Services (July 22)
July 22, 2020

We are pleased to announce that starting the week of July 20, the consular section at U.S. Embassy Tbilisi has resumed the processing of limited categories of nonimmigrant visa applications, including F, M, J, and C1/D visas.

Students who hold valid F and M visas may now travel from or transit the Schengen area, United Kingdom, or Ireland to enter the United States. Prospective students who need an F or M visa should make an appointment for a visa interview.  All F and M travelers must have a current I-20 form that complies with all Student and Exchange Visitor Program requirements; it is not necessary to have any in-person instruction.

National Interest Exceptions (NIEs)

The following categories of travelers may now qualify for national interest exceptions (NIEs) under Presidential Proclamations 9993 and 9996, which suspended routine travel from or transit through the Schengen Area, United Kingdom and Ireland to the United States:

  • Students: All students, and their dependents, traveling to the United States on an F or M visa to pursue a full course of study or on a J visa to participate in an exchange program as a bona fide student.
  • Academics: All exchange visitors and their dependents traveling to the United States on J visas in the following categories: Professors, Research Scholars, Short Term Scholars, or Specialists.
  • Investors: Travel in connection with investment or trade in the U.S. economy that generates a substantial economic impact, including investors and treaty-traders on E visas and the senior-level employees who provide strategic direction or expertise essential to the success of the investment, and their dependents.
  • Economic: Temporary travel that provides a substantial economic benefit to the U.S. economy, including:
    • Technical experts and specialists to install, service, maintain or receive training for vessels, machinery, and other specialized equipment used by the U.S. and foreign firms with a substantial investment in the United States. Travel is temporary in nature and for a defined period.
    • Senior-level managers and executives, and their dependents, who provide the strategic direction necessary for the success of the company or venture.
    • Professional athletes, dependents, and essential staff who enter the United States to participate in major sporting events, which bolster the U.S. economy.

NIE Application Process

NEW VISA APPLICANTS: Travelers who need a visa and believe they fall under one of the exception categories above should apply for their visas as normal. Please see www.ustraveldocs.ge to begin your application process.

IF YOU ALREADY HAVE A VALID VISA and believe you fall under one of the excepted categories above, you may email TbilisiConsular@state.gov to initiate a request for a NIE.  Please describe the purpose of your travel with sufficient detail and provide your full name, date of birth, and the type and issuance date of your visa.

A final determination regarding each applicant’s qualifications for a visa and for the NIE will be made by a consular officer either at the time of the visa interview for new applicants or via email for existing visa holders. Some conditions apply to travel with an NIE, which will be explained in the interview or via email.

Other Exceptions

In addition to the categories listed about, National Interest Exceptions may also be granted for qualified travelers seeking to enter the United States for purposes related to humanitarian travel, public health response, urgent lifesaving medical treatment, medical escorts, national security, and other categories.

Presidential Proclamations 9993 and 9996 also provide a list of enumerated exceptions, which includes air and sea crew members, certain family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, and others.

If you believe that you qualify for an exception, please make an appointment, or (if you already have a valid visa) email TbilisiConsular@state.gov. Please describe the purpose of your travel with sufficient detail and provide your full name, date of birth, and the type and issuance date of your visa.

Embassy Tbilisi continues to process official and diplomatic visas pursuant to usual processes.