On June 22, 2020, President Trump issued a Presidential Proclamation temporarily suspending entry into the United States of foreign nationals seeking certain nonimmigrant (temporary) work visas. The Proclamation also extends the suspension on immigrant (permanent) visa applicants outside the United States from seeking entry. The Proclamation contains a few exceptions and does not impact foreign nationals present in the United States and foreign nationals outside the United States with a valid visa as of the effective date of the Proclamation. Specific details of the Proclamation are below.
When: Effective starting June 24, 2020 at 12:01 AM EDT
Duration: December 31, 2020, unless extended or modified
Suspension Impacts the Following Nonimmigrant Visa Categories Outside the United States Without a Valid Visa as of June 24, 2020:
L-1A and L-1B intracompany transferees
J-1 exchange visitors (only intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program)
Spouse/children of the above nonimmigrant categories
Lawful permanent residents (green card holders)
Spouses of U.S. Citizens
Temporary labor or services essential to the U.S. food supply chain
Entry would be in the national interest
Eligibility standards not established yet, but will include those that are
Critical to the defense, law enforcement, diplomacy, or national security of the United States
Providing medical care to hospitalized COVID-19 patients
Providing medical research at U.S. facilities to combat COVID-19
Necessary to facilitate the immediate and continued economic recovery of the United States
Foreign national children who would age out of visa eligibility due to the suspension
April 22, 2020 Proclamation Impacting Immigrant Visas Extended Until December 31, 2020: On April 23, 2020, our news alert addressed the suspension of certain immigrant visa applicants (green card applicants) from entering the United States through June 22, 2020 (Proclamation 10014). See news alert here. This Proclamation has been extended until December 31, 2020.
Next Steps for Federal Immigration Agencies:
Establish national interest standards
Promulgate regulations or take other appropriate action to ensure 1) the presence of certain foreign workers, including H-1Bs, does not disadvantage U.S. workers, 2) the efficient allocation of visas; and 3) workers seeking employment-based second or third preference (EB-2 or EB-3) eligibility do not disadvantage U.S. workers
This action will likely lead to more restrictive H-1B and PERM Labor Certification processes.
Additional Measures by the Secretary of Health and Human Services:
Provide guidance concerning measures to reduce the risk of those seeking U.S. admission, introducing or spreading COVID-19
We encourage companies and foreign nationals currently experiencing difficulties due to COVID-19, embassy closures, and this Proclamation to consult with counsel on potential strategies. Tonkon Torp’s Immigration Practice Group will continue to provide updates on this and any further executive actions impacting business immigration.