On June 22nd, President Trump issued a Proclamation to suspend the entry of individuals using temporary worker visas. This Proclamation comes 60 days after President Trump’s April 22, 2020 Proclamation, which suspended the issuance of family-based, employment-based, and green card diversity lottery immigrant visas for 60 days.
Suspended Entry of Individuals Using Temporary Work Visas
On June 22, 2020, when the 60 days had run, Trump extended the April 22 Proclamation through December 31, 2020, but also expanded the “immigration ban” to include the following nonimmigrant (temporary) visa categories:
- H-1B visa and any foreign national accompanying or following to join them;
- H-2B visa and any foreign national accompanying or following to join them;
- J visa, to the extent the foreign national is participating in an intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program, and any foreign national accompanying or following to join them; and
- L visa, and any foreign national accompanying or following to join them.
The April 22 Proclamation only applies to an individual who:
- Was outside the United States on April 23, 2020;
- Does not have an immigrant visa that is valid on April 23, 2020; and
- Does not have an official travel document (such as a transportation letter, boarding foil, or advance parole document), valid on April 23, 2020 or issued thereafter permitting the individual to be admitted to the United States.
The June 22 Proclamation only applies to an individual who:
- Was outside the United States on June 24, 2020;
- Does not have a nonimmigrant visa that is valid on June 24, 2020; and
- Does not have an official travel document other than a visa (such as a transportation letter, boarding foil, or advance parole document), on June 24, 2020 or issued thereafter permitting the individual to be admitted to the United States
The following categories are not affected by the Proclamations:
- Lawful permanent residents;
- Spouses of U.S. citizens;
- Children of U.S. citizens under the age of 21 and prospective adoptees seeking to enter on an IR-4 or IH-4 visa;
- Canadians entering as H, L, or J;
- Individuals applying for a visa to enter the U.S. pursuant to the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program;
- Individuals seeking entry to provide temporary labor essential to the U.S. food supply chain (e.g. H-2A farm workers and H-2B seafood and food processing workers)
- Individuals and their spouses or children eligible for Special Immigrant Visas as an Afghan or Iraqi translator/interpreter or U.S. Government Employee (SI or SQ classification);
- Individuals seeking to apply for asylum, refugee status, withholding of removal or protection under the Convention Against Torture;
- Individuals seeking entry pursuant to visas specifically provided for by global treaties, including the TN for Mexican and Canadian professionals, E treaty investors, E-3 specialty occupation workers from Australia, and H-1B1 specialty occupation workers from Chile and Singapore;
- Individuals whose entry would be in the national interest. In determining who is covered under the “national interest” exemption, the Proclamation directs the Secretaries of State, Labor, and Homeland Security to determine standards for those to whom such an exemption would be available, including any individuals who:
- are critical to the defense, law enforcement, diplomacy, or national security of the United States;
- are involved with the provision of medical care to individuals who have contracted COVID-19 and are currently hospitalized;
- are involved with the provision of medical research at U.S. facilities to help the United States combat COVID-19;
- are necessary to facilitate the immediate and continued economic recovery of the United States; or
- are children who would age out of eligibility for a visa because of the Proclamations.
Trump Order Suspending Work Visas during Coronavirus Pandemic
Those with valid visas issued prior to the effective date of the Proclamation (June 24, 2020) will be allowed entry after the suspension goes into effect regardless of whether they have come in before or not on that visa.
Individuals who have valid visas and are in the United States in one of the listed categories (H-1B, H-2B, J, L-1A, and L-1B) or are dependents of any one of the listed categories are nonetheless strongly advised against international travel.
If you’re concerned about your immigration status, contact our office to schedule a consultation with an experienced immigration lawyer.