President Donald J. Trump has announced a further proclamation that now suspends the entry into the United States of certain foreign workers pursuant to H-1B or H-2B, J, and L visas and their dependents until the end of the year. The “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak”, issued June 22nd, both suspends and limits such entry into the U.S. for these non-immigrant visas travelers as well as immediately extends the previous suspension of the entry of certain immigrants issued April 22nd.
The non-immigrant visa programs impacted include H-1B visas for professional workers, H-2B visas for temporary non-agricultural workers, J visas for participants in work and student exchanges, and L visas for intracompany transferees.
As with the previous order, the proclamation does not suspend processing concerning those prospective immigrants or non-immigrants who are already physically in the United States. The new proclamation suspends and limits entry to the United States for foreign nationals who as of the effective date of June 24, 2020 (i) are outside of the U.S, (ii) do not have a valid non-immigrant visa, and (iii) do not have an official travel document other than a visa (such as a transportation letter, an appropriate boarding foil, or an advance parole document) valid on the effective date or issued thereafter that permits them to travel to the United States and seek entry or admission.
There are some categories of foreign nationals whose entry is exempted from the proclamation, including:
Foreign nationals seeking to enter to provide temporary labor or services essential to the U.S. food supply chain.
Any foreign national whose entry would be in the national interest as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees.
The proclamation as currently issued impacts many more foreign national travelers than the previous proclamation in April. In conjunction with the various proclamations already in place, this additional order causes further delays in what is already a long immigration process for many and is a clear sign that legal immigration into the U.S. will continue to face significant hurdles through the end of 2020.
For more information, please contact us or your regular Parker Poe contact. You can find the firm’s additional COVID-19 alerts here.