Updated Presidential Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants to the United States of America, and Barring Some Nonimmigrant Guest Workers for the Remainder of 2020
On June 22, 2020, President Trump issued an update to his April 2020 Proclamation suspending entry of foreign nationals seeking to come to the U.S. as immigrants. Effective June 24, 2020, that suspension has now been extended through December 31, 2020 and now includes H-1B, H-2B, L-1 and some J-1 nonimmigrant workers and their immediate families. The continuing rationale is to protect U.S. workers from foreign competition in employment in light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the U.S. economy.
What We Know About This Updated Proclamation and its Predecessor:
- The immediate impact will continue to be upon those outside the United States who seek to enter but do not currently have a valid nonimmigrant or immigrant visa (please see our April 22, 2020 alert for more detail);
- Foreign nationals presently in the United States are not impacted, but future international travel may be precluded if, as of June 24, 2020, the foreign national does not already possess a valid nonimmigrant or immigrant visa;
- Domestic processing of nonimmigrant and immigrant benefits by USCIS within the United States will continue and are not impacted by these Proclamations;
- There are exceptions to these Proclamations, which exempt lawful permanent residents, spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens, and prospective adoptees, some healthcare professionals and researchers working to fight COVID-19, EB-5 investors, members of the U.S. armed forces and their spouses/children, certain “special immigrants” whose entry is in the “national interest” of the United States, food workers deemed essential to the United States’ supply chain, some J-1 workers including university students, research scholars, physicians, professors, secondary school students and certain visitors, and children who will “age-out” of immigrant benefits if barred from entering the U.S.
- Decisions regarding applicability of visa issuance exceptions will continue to be made by individual consular officers;
- These Proclamations, taken together, remain subject to further extensions to “ensure the prioritization, hiring, and employment of United States workers”; and
- Asylum seekers are not included in this suspension.
What We Advise:
- Clients, employers and their employees, as well as derivative family members, should be prepared for continued delays and the possibility of precluded international travel as a result of these Proclamations and related travel restrictions;
- While it appears those with valid nonimmigrant visas as of June 24, 2020 will be permitted entry to the United States, prudence dictates that discretionary international travel by foreign nationals already in the U.S. be made only after consultation with an attorney at Philip Levin & Associates—departure from the United States can result in the inability to return to the U.S. even if the individual appears to possess the required reentry documentation;
- The Administration has yet to issue guidance as to how H-1B, H-2B, L-1 and J-1 Canadians will be addressed since these Proclamations are silent as to specifics regarding Canadian nationals (who are not required to obtain visas prior to entry to the United States);
- Entry to the U.S. is barred to foreign nationals who have visited the following countries within 14-days of their attempted U.S. entry: China, Iran, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and many additional European countries who are parties to the Schengen compact (“Schengen Area” countries); and
- We advise continued vigilance in monitoring travel conditions with our assistance—please reach out by email or phone prior to any anticipated international travel—we are here to assist and will appraise our clients of lawful travel restrictions as they become known.