Updated: February 11, 2021
Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel. Alternatively, travelers to the U.S. may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel. Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions.
IMPORTANT NOTE FOR VISA APPLICANTS WHO DO NOT RESIDE IN THE KINGDOM OF DENMARK
Applicants from a country classified as “high risk” by the Danish authorities are not permitted entry to the U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen unless you have been in Denmark 14 days or longer. Sweden is currently considered a “high risk” country.
The U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen requires a 14-day self-quarantine period for those who have recently traveled to, or are coming directly from, any “banned,” “high risk,” or otherwise “not open” region or country. This 14-day quarantine period applies regardless of Danish regulations that may allow entry into Denmark with a negative COVID test. Applicants who have a negative COVID test are still required to be in Denmark for 14 days prior to their appointment date. The following websites have up-to-date information on countries classified as “high risk” by the Danish authorities:
Travel Restrictions from Schengen Zone to the United States Remain in Effect: On January 25, 2021 the President issued a presidential proclamation continuing travel restrictions for foreign nationals who have been present in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, the Schengen Area, Brazil, China, and Iran. The President also restricted entry into the United States of any foreign nationals who have been present in South Africa, effective January 30. There is no definitive date for lifting these travel restrictions. The proclamation does not apply to U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, spouses of U.S. citizens, minor children of U.S. citizens, diplomatic and official travelers, air and sea crew members, members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their spouses and children, and certain other categories of travelers.
If you believe you qualify for a national interest exception (NIE) of this Proclamation and already hold a valid visa or ESTA for travel, please follow the instructions below in the paragraph entitled “Expansion of National Interest Exception Travel” to request an NIE.
Visa Appointment Backlog: The Embassy’s consular section is operating at reduced capacity due to COVID-19 to comply with health safety measures in place by both the Department of State and Danish authorities. As a result, demand for visa services exceeds available resources and there is a backlog for visa services at U.S. Embassy Copenhagen. The Embassy cannot guarantee a particular visa appointment date. All prospective travelers, and in particular visa holders currently in the United States who may be planning a trip home to Denmark, should prioritize their efforts to schedule a visa appointment as far in advance as possible. Thank you for your patience as we work through the visa backlog in safe and orderly manner.
Limited Visa Services Resumed August 14: Visa services were suspended worldwide in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. On August 14 2020 the U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen resumed limited visa services in a phased, safe, and orderly manner. The status of visa services at U.S. Embassy Copenhagen is as follows:
- F/M/J Student and Exchange visas: Open. Schedule your appointment on our website.
- C1/D, I, O, P visas: Temporarily suspended due to additional pandemic restrictions enacted by the Danish government. Limited expedited appointment are available for applicants ordinarily resident in the Kingdom of Denmark only. Even expedited appointments may have a four to six week wait. Login to your profile on www.ustraveldocs.com to request an expedited appointment.
- E visas: Open and working through a backlog. Follow the step-by-step instructions on our website to apply for an E visa at the U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen.
- H1B visas: Temporarily suspended due to additional pandemic restrictions enacted by the Danish government. Limited expedited appointment are available for applicants ordinarily resident in the Kingdom of Denmark only. Even expedited appointments may have a four to six week wait. Login to your profile on www.ustraveldocs.com to request an expedited appointment. Read the Department of State website for information about national interest exceptions for H visas prior to your interview. The final NIE determination will be made at the time of your interview.
- H2B visas: Suspended due to COVID-19. If you believe you qualify for an expedited appointment please login to your profile on www.ustraveldocs.com to request an expedited appointment.
- L visas: Temporarily suspended due to additional pandemic restrictions enacted by the Danish government. Limited expedited appointment are available for applicants ordinarily resident in the Kingdom of Denmark only. Even expedited appointments may have a four to six week wait. Login to your profile on www.ustraveldocs.com to request an expedited. Read the Department of State website for information about national interest exceptions for L visas prior to your interview. The final NIE determination will be made at the time of your interview.
- B1/B2 Tourist Visas: Suspended due to COVID-19. If you believe you qualify for an exception to Presidential Proclamation 10143 under section 2 of the scope of suspension and require a B1/B2 visa in order to travel to the United States please login to your profile on www.ustraveldocs.com to request an expedited appointment..
Expedite Requests: The U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen will continue to provide emergency and mission critical visa services for humanitarian, life-and-death related travel. If you believe you qualify for an expedited appointment please login to your profile on www.ustraveldocs.com to submit your request.
Visa Application Fee: We understand that many visa applicants have paid the visa application processing fee and are still waiting to schedule a visa appointment. We are working diligently to restore all routine visa operations as quickly and safely as possible. In the meantime, rest assured that we will extend the validity of your payment (known as the MRV fee) until September 30, 2022, to allow all applicants who were unable to schedule a visa appointment as a result of the suspension of routine consular operations to schedule and/or attend a visa appointment with the paid fee.
Travel Restrictions for H-1B, H-2B, L, and Certain J Visas: On June 22 2020, the President signed Proclamation 10052 suspending the entry of certain foreign nationals to the United States who present a risk to the United States labor market during the economic recovery following the 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak. The Proclamation went into effect on June 24, 2020 and will be in effect through March 31, 2021. Under the Proclamation, there are limited national interest exceptions that may apply to H-1B, H-2B, H-4, L1, L2, or the following J visa categories: interns, trainees, teachers, camp counselors, au pairs, and summer work travel program participants. The Proclamation is not retroactive. No valid visas will be revoked under this Proclamation. Read the full text of the Proclamation for additional information. For questions about adjusting status or extending the authorized period of stay in the United States, please contact the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office (USCIS). USCIS has full jurisdiction over immigration matters for foreign citizens physically within the United States.
Expansion of National Interest Exception Travel for Students, Business Travelers, Investors, and Academics: On July 16 2020, the State Department announced that certain travelers subject to Presidential Proclamations 9993 and 9996 (which suspend travel to the United States from the Schengen Area, the UK, and Ireland), may qualify for a national interest exception for non-tourist travel to the United States. Travelers that may qualify for a national interest exception to the Presidential Proclamation include:
- Humanitarian: For example, if you are having a child born to surrogacy in the United States; you require urgent medical treatment in the United States; or you have an immediate family member in the United States who is gravely ill.
- Economic: Temporary travel that provides a substantial economic benefit to the U.S. economy. Examples may include: Technical experts and specialists to install, service, maintain, or receive training for vessels, machinery and other specialized equipment used by U.S. and foreign firms with a substantial investment in the United States; Senior-level managers and executives, and their dependents, who provide 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.
- Investors: Travel in connection with investment or trade in the U.S. economy that generates a substantial economic impact, including investors and treaty-traders and the senior-level employees who provide strategic direction or expertise essential to the success of the investment, and their dependents.
- Students: All students, and their dependents, traveling to the United States to pursue a full course of study per INA 101(a)(15)(F) or INA 101(a)(15)(M); or participate in an exchange program as a bona fide student per INA 101(a)(15)(J).
- Academics: All exchange visitors and their dependents traveling to the United States as a nonimmigrant under INA 101(a)(15)(J) in the following categories: Professors, Research Scholars, Short Term Scholars, Specialists.
F-1, F-2, M-1, and M-2 Students with Valid Visas: Students with a valid F or M visa and a valid I-20 do not need to seek a national interest exception and may return to the United States without further administrative steps. Please ensure that you follow any quarantine or social distancing requirements upon your return. You do not need a letter or other permission from the U.S. Embassy to travel to the United States from the Schengen area on your valid F or M visa.
Other Travelers with Valid Visas or ESTA
E-mail Process: Travelers that already have valid nonimmigrant visas or ESTA and believe they qualify for a national interest exception (NIE) for economic, investor, or exchange visitor related purposes must verify with a consular official that they qualify. To do so, travelers must send the following information along with supporting documentation to CopenhagenNIV@state.gov. Supporting documents may include a letter of invitation, confirmation of your medical treatment in the United States, letter from the U.S. business explaining the economic impact of your travel on the U.S. economy, etc. Due to a large volume of inquiries it may take up to ten business days to review your documents and qualifications. You will be notified by e-mail if you meet the NIE requirements. Print out that e-mail as confirmation of your excepted status.
Answer the following questions and include with your initial email:
- What is the purpose of your travel? Does your travel meet one of the national interest exceptions listed above? If so, please explain how your travel provides a substantial economic benefit to the United States. Please provide a clear explanation, including the impact to jobs for U.S. citizens (if applicable).
- Do you already have an approved ESTA or visa on which you plan to travel that is applicable to your purpose of travel? If you have a valid visa, please send a copy of it. If you have a valid ESTA, please send your ESTA confirmation number.
- Please send a copy of the biographic page of your passport.
- Have you or any family members traveling with you experienced any COVID-19 symptoms? Have you or any family members traveling with you been tested for COVID-19? If so, when and what were the test results?
- Will any other family members be travelling with you to the United States? If so, please provide copies of the biographic pages of their valid passports and copies of their valid visas (if applicable).
- Are you currently in Denmark?
- Where in the United States will you be staying and for how long do you anticipate being in the United States?
- Have you booked a flight? If so, please share the flight itinerary. If not, please provide the anticipated travel date and the route you will most likely book.
IMPORTANT: Limitations of National Interest Exception: If approved, the exception is valid only for 30 days from the date of approval and is valid for a single entry to the United States. An individual who departs the United States and wishes to return must be re-assessed for a national interest exception. As noted above, students with a valid F or M visa and a valid I-20 do not need to seek a national interest exception and may return to the United States without further administrative steps. F, M, and J visa travelers are reminded that they must still meet all Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) requirements. All individuals are reminded that their admission remains subject to a determination by Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry and that they may be subject to a 14-day quarantine upon arrival.
For Travelers in the United States: For questions about adjusting status or extending the authorized period of stay in the United States, please contact the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office (USCIS). USCIS has full jurisdiction over immigration matters for foreign citizens physically in the United States.
Renewal of Visa:
If you are applying for a visa in the same visa class, and your prior visa expired less than 24 months ago, you may be eligible to use our interview waiver procedures. See our website to determine if you qualify for interview waiver; if so, the entire application process is done by mail and is the fastest way to renew your visa: https://www.ustraveldocs.com/dk/dk-niv-visarenew.asp
Before scheduling an appointment for your visa interview, please read carefully:
Travelers Recently Arrived from the United States or Other Countries Classified as “Banned” by Danish Authorities:
The U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen is following the Danish government advice for travelers to Denmark. Danish government authorities recommend any travelers arriving in Denmark from a country classified as “banned” – which includes the United States – to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Denmark. To mitigate the health risk to embassy visitors and staff, travelers from the United States or any other country classified as banned by the Danish authorities will be permitted to schedule an appointment at the U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen only if it has been 14 days or longer since your arrival to Denmark. If you have been in Denmark less than 14 days and have a true life-or-death emergency which requires an in-person appointment contact us at CopenhagenNIV@state.gov to discuss.