immigration update: trump administration extends immigration freeze, expands visa waiver program


On December 31, 2020, the Trump administration issued a proclamation extending bans on immigrant and certain nonimmigrants visas issued outside of the U.S. until March 31, 2021. Entry will continue to be barred to most immigrant visa applicants who are outside the United States. The proclamation also extends bans on entry to most new nonimmigrant H-1B, L-1, H-2B, and J-1 visa categories and derivative family members.

As with the prior proclamations (10014 and 10052), U.S. lawful permanent residents, spouses and children of U.S. citizens, current visa holders, and certain aliens who meet a limited number of exceptions, such as those working in the national interest or in leadership positions in critical infrastructure sectors, are exempt from the restrictions.

In addition, the Department of State has announced that it will temporarily waive required in-person visa interviews for some nonimmigrant visa applicants. The eligibility criteria for interview waivers will also be expanded. Each consulate abroad will implement the new policy independently, and the waiver process will therefore vary from post to post.

If you have any questions regarding the applicability of these policies, please contact Wildes & Weinberg at (212) 753 – 3468 at your earliest convenience to discuss.   

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