President Trump Extends Visa Ban to H-1B, H-2B, L-1, and Certain J-1 nonimmigrants
In response to the expiration of the Proclamation banning the issuance of most immigrant visas abroad for 60 days on Monday, June 22, 2020, President Trump has further expanded bans on entries to the U.S. to nonimmigrants.
Trump’s “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak” is purported to aimed to increase the number of employment opportunities to U.S. workers by forbidding the issuance of new employment-based visas (such as H1-B, H-2B, J-1, L-1 as well as family members of the visa holders), which are often used by many large American corporations. This new Proclamation will enter into force on June 24, 2020 and remain effective until December 31, 2020, although it could be extended further.
The scope of Proclamation affects individuals who:
· Reside outside the United States on the effective date of the order;
· Do not possess a nonimmigrant visa that is valid on the effective date of the order; AND
· Do not have a travel document that is valid on the effective date of the order.
The Proclamation does not affect extraordinary ability (O-1), student (F-1) or Treaty (E-1, E-2, E-3) visas. As the prohibition is made against nonimmigrant visa issuance, it is unclear whether or how the Proclamation will affect Canadian or Bahamian nationals who generally do not need visas to enter the U.S.
The Proclamation includes some exemptions for the above-mentioned categories of visas. In particular the new order does not apply to:
· Lawful permanent residents;
· Spouses and children of U.S. citizens;
· Foreign individuals seeking entry to provide temporary labor essential to the United States food supply chain;
· Any person whose entry would be in the national interest according to the determination of the Departments of Homeland Security and State; or
· J-1 visa holders that are not participating in an intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program.
Foreign individuals currently residing in the United States based on H, L or J visas should not be affected by the Proclamation, nor should their extensions of stay be affected. Of significant concern, however, is that the Proclamation does direct the Secretary of Labor to consider new regulations that could affect those who already have EB-2, EB-3, or H-1B benefits.
The provisions of the Proclamation reserved a right for the Secretary of Homeland Security to recommend any amendments within 30 days of June 24, 2020 and every 60 days thereafter.
President Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda has endangered the future of many foreign nationals. If you or your family need a consultation regarding your specific circumstances, contact us today.