On June 22, 2020, President Trump issued the Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak (“Nonimmigrant Proclamation”). This proclamation not only extends the restriction of the issuance of most immigrant visas to foreign nationals outside of the United States until December 31, 2020, but also suspends travel into the U.S. for the same period by any foreign national seeking to enter via H1B, H2B, J1, or L visa classification.
Below we briefly summarize the terms of the Nonimmigrant Proclamation and its intersection with prior immigration policy changes. We encourage you to contact Wildes and Weinberg as soon as possible if you or your employee is subject to this proclamation.
Who is Subject to the Nonimmigrant Proclamation?
The Nonimmigrant Proclamation only applies to individuals seeking H1B, H2B, J1, and L visas who meet the following 3 criteria:
- Are outside the United States as of the effective date of the Proclamation (June 24, 2020); AND
- Who do not have any nonimmigrant visa stamp that is valid on the effective date of the Proclamation; AND/OR
- Do not hold an official travel documents other than a visa (e.g., transportation letter, boarding foil, or advance parole document).
Who is Not Subject to the Nonimmigrant Proclamation?
Individuals who are in the United States and have maintained valid H1B, H2B, J1, or L nonimmigrant status;
- Individuals outside of the United States with a valid H1B, H2B, J1, or L visa stamp;
- Any lawful permanent resident (a “green card” holder) of the United States;
- Any alien who is the spouse or child of a United States citizen;
- Any alien seeking to enter the United States to provide temporary labor or services essential to the United States food supply chain;
- The J visa suspension is limited in scope. It does not apply to Physician, Short-Term Scholar, Professor & Research Scholar, Specialist, Secondary School Student, and College & University Student programs.
- Any alien whose entry would be in the national interest as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees.
- Note: national interest is complex and determined on a case by case basis; please contact Wildes & Weinberg in order to determine if this a viable optio
- At the moment, the proclamation has no effect on multiple nonimmigrant categories, including, but not limited to: O, I, TN, E, F, M, R, etc.
How Does the Nonimmigrant Proclamation Interact with Previous Restrictions?
- Per a proclamation issued on March 11th, nonimmigrants who have been present in Brazil, the UK/Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, the 26 Schengen area countries (most of Europe), China, and Iran 14 days prior to arrival are barred from entering the U.S. It may be possible to enter by requesting a national interest exception or, alternatively, to wait out the 14-day period in a country that is not listed. The entry ban does not apply to citizens, permanent residences, or their spouses. There are also several other exceptions. Please contact Wildes & Weinberg if you or your employee are in or planning to travel to one of the listed countries to discuss options.
- For the last several months, most U.S. consulates and embassies abroad have been closed or have only been scheduling limited visa interview appointments, so the ability to receive a new immigrant or nonimmigrant visa had already been curtailed prior to the Nonimmigrant Proclamation. Nonimmigrants who are outside of the U.S. or those who are in the country but will soon need new visa stamps should they wish to re-enter should keep in mind that it may be several months until it is possible to schedule an interview at a U.S. consulate. Furthermore, the consulates will not issue new H-1B, H-2B, J, or L stamps until after December 31, 2020. There are limited exceptions available for those seeking emergency appointments or have been identified as priorities. Please reach out to Wilde & Weinberg to review options.
- Travel from Canada or Mexico in the United States via land border is still suspended.
- At the moment, individuals who are currently in the United States in valid H1B, H2B, J1, or L visa status may remain per the terms of their approval. Given the hostility this administration has shown towards immigration, it is possible that this may change in the future.
- Given the complexities involved with foreign travel, we recommend curtailing all travel outside of the Unites States except for the most urgent circumstances. Should foreign travel be required, please contact Wildes & Weinberg as soon as possible to review.
- Clients should be aware that attempting to “wait out” the 14-day entry ban in a country not currently subject to the ban involves significant risk. The country’s own inbound immigration policies may not allow for entry by the foreign national, or conditions associated with Coronavirus in the country could devolve, leading to the country’s addition to the list of restricted countries before the 14-day period is over, potentially complicating travel plans.
- Employers may file to change or extend the status of a foreign national in the United States, even to H-1B, H-2B, J, or L visa status.
- Individuals who are outside of the U.S. and in possession of a valid H1B, H2B, J1, L, or any other visa stamp or approved travel document should reenter (the terms of the March 14-day entry ban notwithstanding).
- Individuals who are currently outside of the U.S. who do not meet any of the above exceptions are likely ineligible to renter the U.S. under one of the above referenced classes for the referenced term. We recommend you contact your Wildes & Weinberg attorney as soon as possible in order to discuss options and investigate alternative means of entry.
Wildes and Weinberg is committing to keeping all of our clients safe during these unprecedented times. We will continue to provide updates as the situation evolves. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact at (212) 753-3468 or via email@example.com.