New Proclamation Halting or Delaying Immigration
On April 22, 2020, President Trump signed a “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak.”
Many clients are concerned what the new “immigration ban” will mean for their cases. By cutting off all visa interviews at American Consulates since COVID-19 began, the Administration had already thwarted immigration from outside the U.S. for nonimmigrant and immigrant cases.
Going forward the ban does not apply to those physically present in the U.S. Those people should be able to extend their statuses and to complete their cases. For now, people in the U.S. will be able to extend employment authorization as needed; H-1Bs, O-1s, TNs, etc. inside the U.S. will be able to extend their status as needed and to change from other statuses (J-1 or F-1) to those, and; permanent residence cases processed inside the U.S. will proceed on course.
The proclamation becomes effective at 11:59 p.m. today, Thursday, April 23, 2020 (ET), and suspends the entry of any individual seeking to enter the U.S. as an immigrant who:
- Is outside the United States on the effective date of the proclamation;
- Does not have a valid immigrant visa on the effective date; and
- Does not have a valid official travel document t (such as a transportation letter, boarding foil, or advance parole document)
Certain persons are exempted from the Proclamation:
- Lawful permanent residents (LPR)
- Individuals and their spouses or children seeking to enter the U.S. on an immigrant visa as a physician, nurse, or other healthcare professional to perform work essential to combating, recovering from, or otherwise alleviating the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak (as determined by the Secretaries of State and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), or their respective designees)
- Individuals applying for a visa to enter the U.S. pursuant to the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program
- 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
- Individuals who would further important U.S. law enforcement objectives (as determined by the Secretaries of DHS and State based on the recommendation of the Attorney General (AG), or their respective designees)
- Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their spouses and children
- 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 whose entry would be in the national interest (as determined by the Secretaries of State and DHS, or their respective designees).
- Nonimmigrant visa holders. However, the proclamation requires that within 30 days of the effective date, the Secretaries of Labor and DHS, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall review nonimmigrant programs and recommend to the President other appropriate measures to stimulate the U.S. economy and ensure “the prioritization, hiring and employment” of U.S. workers.
- Asylum seekers
The proclamation expires in 60 days but may be continued as necessary. Within 50 days from the effective date, the Secretary of DHS, in consultation with the Secretaries of State and Labor, are supposed to recommend whether the President should continue or modify the proclamation.