On June 22, 2020, President Trump issued a proclamation that suspends the entry of certain foreign nationals into the United States through December 31, 2020.
What We Know:
Affected Temporary Visa Categories:
- H-1B and their H-4 dependents;
- H-2B and their H-4 dependents;
- J-1 Interns, Trainees, Teachers, Camp Counselors, Au Pairs and Summer Work Travel and J-2 dependents;
- L-1A and L-1B and their L-2 dependents.
Affected Permanent Visa Categories (Green Cards):
- Employment-Based Second Preference (Advanced Degree Professionals, Exceptional Ability, and National Interest Waivers*)
- Employment-Based Third Preference (Professionals, Skilled Workers an Unskilled/Other Workers)
The Proclamation only applies to individuals who are:
- Outside the United States on the effective date of the Proclamation;
- Do not have a nonimmigrant visa that is valid on the effective date of the Proclamation; AND
- Do not have an official travel document other than a visa (e.g. advance parole document or transportation letter), valid on the effective date of the Proclamation or issued thereafter permitting return to the United States.
The wording of the proclamation suggests that individuals who are physically present in the United States as of June 22, 2020 are not subject to the proclamation. It also suggests that individuals who are outside the United States on June 22, 2020 but who possess a valid visa stamp or other official travel document, are also not subject to the proclamation.
The Proclamation does not apply to individuals who are:
- Lawful Permanent Residents (green card holders)
- Spouses and children of U.S. Citizens
- Individuals seeking entry to provide temporary labor essential to the U.S. food supply chain
- *Individuals whose entry would be in the National Interest (e.g. provision of COVID-related medical care; COVID-related medical research; contribution to the economic recovery of the U.S.; children who are at the risk of aging out)
- Asylum seekers and refugees
- Individuals processing nonimmigrant visa extensions/ changes of status or green card applications from within the U.S.
The following questions remain unanswered as we work through the wording of the proclamation:
- What impact, if any, will the proclamation have on Canadian nationals who do not require a visa stamp for H-1B, L and J classifications?
- What impact, if any, will the proclamation have on individuals are who are physically in the United States in the impacted visa categories on June 22, 2020 but who subsequently travel abroad and seek to renew their visa stamp? While we know that such individuals remain eligible for extensions of their nonimmigrant visa status in the U.S., it is unclear whether they can travel and seek re-entry.
- What is the scope of the exemption for individuals seeking to provide temporary labor essential to the U.S. food supply chain – does it include crop pickers only or is it broad enough to include other workers involved in food production/food supply chain?
- What is the scope of the national interest exemption?
We will continue to monitor the situation surrounding this presidential proclamation and will be providing updates as soon as there is more clarity. In the meantime, we strongly advise all foreign nationals in the United States in the impacted visa categories (H-1B, H-4, J-1, J-2, L-1A, L-1B and L-2) to cancel/postpone any international travel plans. Regardless of your immigration status, please contact your Lepore Taylor Fox attorney before making any travel arrangements including emergency travel.