Attendee Resources

National Interest Exception Guidelines

On January 25, 2021, the President of the United States issued the first of several proclamations on the suspension of entry as immigrants and non-immigrants of certain additional persons who pose a risk of transmitting coronavirus disease.  Generally, this proclamation, and additional Presidential proclamations, prohibit travel from certain countries to the United States if a traveler has been physically present in the identified country during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States. 

The Proclamations do not apply to: 

  • U.S. citizens. 
  • lawful permanent residents. 
  • spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. 
  • parents or legal guardians of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident unmarried minor child. 
  • siblings of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident child, provided both are unmarried and under the age of 21. 
  • air and sea crewmembers. 
  • U.S. noncitizen nationals (not applicable to Proclamations 9984 (China) and 9992(Iran)). 
  • diplomats. 
  • any noncitizen who is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and any noncitizen who is a spouse or child of a member of the U.S. Armed Forces. 
  • certain U.S. Government invitees for the purpose of the containment or mitigation of COVID-19; and. 
  • certain travelers whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their designees. 

Travelers that are not covered by the above exemptions may apply for a National Interest Exception (NIE).  Travelers attending NAB Show would likely fall into one of the following categories that are eligible for NIE consideration.  Travelers who believe their travel is within one of the below categories should consult the website of the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for instructions on applying for an NIE. 

  • Journalists (I visas) 
  • Travelers providing executive direction or vital support for critical infrastructure sectors, or directly linked supply chains, as outlined at https://www.cisa.gov/critical-infrastructure-sectors 
  • Travelers providing vital support or executive direction for significant economic activity in the United States 

Affected Countries and their US Embassy Information: 

In applying for an NIE, each applicant should include as much information as possible that supports why traveling to the United States in the best interest of the U.S. Data points could include: 

  • Significant economic investment that has already been committed in support of NAB Show that assists with attracting customers and in support of the U.S. communications sector. 
  • Meetings and demonstrations with customers and government officials that are not easily supported virtually. 
  • Resolving supplier issues from U.S. manufacturers. 
  • Plans to release new, innovative or improved products and services in support of the U.S. communications sector.   
  • How your travel supports communications as a critical infrastructure in the U.S. 

Communications as defined by the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) includes five component areas: 

  • Broadcast:  Broadcasting systems consist of free, and subscription based, over-the-air radio and television (TV) stations that offer analog and digital audio and video programming services and data services. Broadcasting has been the principal means of providing emergency alert services to the public for six decades. Broadcasting systems operate in three frequency bands: medium frequency (MF (AM radio)), very high frequency (VHF (FM radio and TV)), and ultra-high frequency (UHF (TV)). The full transition to digital TV and ongoing transition to digital radio provide broadcast stations with enhanced capabilities, including the ability to multicast multiple programs on a single channel. Radio and TV stations also stream broadcast and additional programming content over the Internet. 
  • Cable: The cable industry is composed of more than 7,700 cable systems that offer analog and digital video programming services, digital telephone service, and high-speed broadband services. The cable systems use a mixture of fiber and coaxial cable to provide bidirectional signal paths to the customer. This hybrid fiber/coaxial (HFC) network architecture effectively segments the cable system into a number of parallel distribution networks. The HFC architecture is beneficial to business and residential customers because it improves signal performance and increases available bandwidth and overall network reliability. Although network designs vary, the HFC architecture in any particular community is typically based on a three-level topology, which includes a headend, one or more distribution hub(s), and multiple fiber nodes.  
  • Satellite: This is a platform launched into orbit to relay voice, video, or data signals as part of a telecommunications network. Earth station antennas transmit signals to the satellite, which are amplified and sent back to Earth for reception by other earth station antennas. Satellites use a combination of terrestrial and space components to perform many types of functions, such as the bidirectional transmission of voice, video, and data services; data collection; event detection; timing; and navigation. Communications Sector-Specific Plan 2015 6  
  • Wireless:  Wireless refers to telecommunication in which electromagnetic waves (rather than some form of wire) carry the signal over part of or the entire communication path. Wireless technologies consist of cellular phones, wireless hot spots (WiFi), personal communication services, high-frequency radio, unlicensed wireless, and other commercial and private radio services to provide communication services.  
  • Wireline: Consists of circuit- and packet-switched networks via copper, fiber, and coaxial transport media. It includes private enterprise data and telephony networks, the core backbone of the Internet, and the PSTN 
  • Other information that can describe or highlight the value of the person’s travel to the U.S., U.S. communications sector, the Las Vegas economy and NAB Show. 

Applicants should verify the exact information required by each U.S. Embassy or consulate to support the NIE application.  Each country may have unique requirements to apply.  At a minimum, travelers should expect to provide the following information: 

  • A scanned copy of each traveler’s visa or ESTA authorization. 
  • A scanned copy of each traveler’s passport photo page. 
  • Purpose of travel, and any supporting documents that clearly show how you qualify for an NIE. 
  • A copy of your flight itinerary, or proposed travel dates. 

Many Embassies and consulates in the affected countries are experiencing backlogs in processing NIEs and you are encouraged to submit your applications as soon as possible.   

Please also see NAB Show’s Invitation Letter that supports your NIE application.   

Please direct any questions to dsullivan@nab.org