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Presidential Proclamation to Suspend Entry of Nonimmigrants Signed

Posted June 22, 2020Stephanie Wedel - Sr. AssociateArticles

President Trump has signed the Presidential Proclamation that impacts the ability of nonimmigrant visa holders in H-1B, H-2B, L-1, and J-1 status, as well as their dependents (H-4, L-2, J-2 visa holders), to travel internationally effective June 24th until December 31, 2020.  There will be a review within 30 days of the initial effective date, and every subsequent 60 days thereafter to determine if any modifications to the order are necessary.

The proclamation extends the current ban on green cards issued at consulates through December 31, 2020. This only affects green card applications directly at the consulates, and does not impact those for individuals who are currently in the U.S.

Who will be impacted by the proclamation

This proclamation applies to the H-1B, H-2B, L-1, and J-1 individuals (and their dependents in H-4, L-2 and J-2 status) who are currently outside the U.S. and limits their ability to re-enter.  Individuals in these categories who are outside the U.S. and who do not hold a valid visa, advance parole, or other U.S. travel document will not be permitted to enter the U.S.

Specifically, individuals in the following statuses (and their dependents) will be affected:

  • H-1B Specialty Occupation Temporary Workers
  • H-2B Temporary Non-Agricultural Workers
  • H-4 Dependents
  • L-1A Executives and Managers
  • L-1B Specialized Knowledge Workers
  • L-2 Dependents
  • J-1 interns, Trainees, Teachers, Camp Counselors, Au Pairs and Summer Work Travel Participants
  • J-2 Dependents

This will impact all individuals in the above listed categories who are outside the U.S. without a valid visa, including current employees.  Individuals who have been approved for these categories, but have not yet obtained a visa stamp will also be impacted, including H-1B lottery applicants abroad.

Currently, the proclamation does not affect Canadian nationals who do not require a visa. We will continue to provide updates as more information is made available.

Who is not impacted by the proclamation

The proclamation does not affect individuals who:

  • Are inside the U.S. at the time of the proclamation
  • Have a valid nonimmigrant visa, advance parole or other U.S. travel document as of the date of this proclamation
  • Are lawful permanent residents of the U.S.
  • Are the spouse or child of a a U.S. Citizen
  • Are seeking to enter the U.S. to provide temporary labor or services essential to the U.S. food supply chain

This proclamation does not affect those who are in the U.S. and seeking a change of status or extension of status for the above listed visa categories.

Recommendations

Individuals who do not have valid visa stamps should not plan any international travel while the ban is in effect.

For individuals who have approved petitions (including H-1B lottery applicants), but have not yet received the visa stamp, the earliest they will be able to enter the U.S. will be January 1, 2021. U.S. immigration laws do permit telecommuting while abroad if companies would like to have these workers employed prior to January 1, 2021.

Please reach out to your designated Meltzer Hellrung attorney if you have any questions.