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On Wednesday evening President Trump signed an Executive Order that effectively suspends the issuance of immigrant visas for an initial period of 60 days. At the moment, the order only applies to individuals currently outside the United States wishing to obtain an immigrant visa (as opposed to short term non-immigrant visas like the H, E, L, or O and OPT and student visas). Since most applicants apply for green cards through adjustment of status proceedings in the U.S., this will have fairly limited impact, especially given the fact that U.S. Consulates have already suspended their operations, including the issuance of immigrant visas, in response to the current Coronavirus crisis.

The Executive Order establishes the premise that permanent residents are granted “open-market” employment authorization documents, and as such new limits may be needed to protect U.S. citizens who have lost their jobs due to the current coronavirus crisis.  The Order does not apply to anyone present in U.S. on April 23, 2020, already possessing an immigrant visa, or certain immigrant categories (EB-5, marriage based petitions, other miscellaneous exemptions).  As with other orders, it also does not apply to the spouse or minor children of a U.S. citizen. In addition, exceptions will be made for medical workers, those serving in the armed forces, and other special circumstances.

While the order does not immediately impact nonimmigrant visa holders or those planning to apply H-1B, O-1,or  OPT, it does instruct that “within 30 days of the effective date of this proclamation, the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Homeland Security … shall review nonimmigrant programs and shall recommend … other measures … to … ensure the prioritization, hiring, and employment of United States workers.”  It is possible, therefore, for the order to be expanded to include nonimmigrant visas, which would cause massive disruption to both the immigration system and the already weakened economy. We encourage anyone who is considering applying for a nonimmigrant visa or even those who are within 6 months of expiration of their current visa to contact Wildes & Weinberg as soon as possible to discuss options and prepare petitions.

For Further Information On How We Can Help Your Firm Meet Its Employment Eligibility Verification Obligations, Please Contact Amy Wildes At amy@wildesweinberg.com

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My husband and I were introduced to Michael and his team back in April 2019. I wanted to apply for my GreenCard and Michael came highly recommended. Over the next 18-months (and a Covid lockdown) the team that looked after my application were, in a...

Carla Pierce -

Michael Wildes and his team are highly professional and provide a great service in advising and facilitating application with USCIS. I'm very grateful to have worked with them for the second time ! Thank you very much for all your help !...

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I am an Australian citizen initially wishing to travel to America for personal reasons however, after the establishment and incorporation of a business in America, I needed a working Visa. This required me to go from a B-1 visa to an E-3 Visa over a ...

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We consider ourselves truly privileged to have had Attorney Michael Wildes and his excellent team of experts handle our case. Our situation was intricately complex. We had initially filed for the B Extension Visa and the R1-R2 Visa. I believe I sp...

Eli Lubin -

We worked with Michael, Zoya, Yoni, and Walter. They were all wonderful to work with. They helped us with both a J-1 and a marriage visa. Even though we were out of state for them (we are based in Oklahoma), everything went smoothly, and we would ...

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