President Suspends Temporary Entry of Certain Nonimmigrants Due to COVID-19 Related Unemployment Rates
After several days of extensive media coverage and speculation, on June 22, 2020, President Trump issued a new immigration-related proclamation, the full text of which is available here. Per the administration, this new proclamation was released in response to the growing American unemployment rate due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The most notable order in this proclamation is the temporary suspension of entry for certain nonimmigrants as outlined below:
- Travel into the United States of any foreign national seeking to enter in H-1B, H-2B, J, or L classification (as well as any foreign national accompanying or following to join such individual) is suspended.
- The J visa category suspension is limited to certain programs only. The suspension does not apply to Physician, Short-Term Scholar, Professor & Research Scholar, Specialist, Secondary School Student, and College & University Student programs.
Update: Please note, on June 29, 2020, President Trump issued an amendment to this proclamation. The amendment was issued to clarify who is included in the proclamation’s “valid visa” exemption. In the initial proclamation, the language of this exemption suggested that an individual in possession of any type of nonimmigrant visa (i.e. B, F, O, etc.) on June 24, 2020 would be exempt from the proclamation. The amendment now states that the individuals who may be exempted from this proclamation are only those who had an H-1B, H-2B, L-2, J (certain categories only), and related dependent visas on June 24, 2020. For example, if you had an F visa on June 24, 2020, you are still subject to this proclamation and therefore unable to obtain an H-1B visa stamp through at least December 31, 2020. Conversely, if you had an H-1B visa on June 24, 2020, you may be exempted from the proclamation and able to obtain a new H-1B visa before the end of the year, once the consulates re-open.