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Presidential Proclamations Suspending Certain Immigration Benefits Extended

Posted January 4, 2021Stephanie Wedel - Sr. AssociateArticles

On December 31, 2020, President Trump extended the Presidential Proclamations restricting the processing of consular issued green cards and the entry of certain nonimmigrant visa holders until March 31, 2021.

These proclamations, originally set to expire on December 31, 2020, impact green card applications directly at the consulate, as well as the ability of nonimmigrant visa holders in H-1B, H-2B, L-1, and J-1 status, and their dependents (H-4, L-2, J-2 visa holders), to travel internationally.

These proclamations do not affect individuals who:

  • Were inside the U.S. June 24th.
  • 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 (under the age of 21) 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
  • Medical workers (including spouse and children) seeking to enter the U.S. on an immigrant visa as a physician, nurse, or other health care professional to perform essential COVID-19 related work
  • Intending immigrants entering pursuant to the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program
  • Individuals whose entry would be in the national interest

The previously established exceptions remain in place including:


  • Children who will turn 21 and age out of their current immigrant visa classification before the presidential proclamation expires or within two weeks thereafter.
  • Certain H and J visa applicants who are traveling to work in support of a critical U.S. foreign policy object (such as COVID-19 response) and/or traveling at the request of the U.S. government.
  • Spouses and children of H, J, and L visa holders who are already excepted from or not subject to the proclamation. If the primary visa holder is excepted because there were in the U.S. at the time of the proclamation, or already had a valid visa stamp at the time of the proclamation, the dependent spouse and children will also receive the exception.
  • Members of the plaintiff group in NAM v. DHS, which include the National Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Retail Federation, Technet, and Intrax.

As the Biden Administration takes office January 20, 2021, this extension could be shortened through a new presidential proclamation.

Meltzer Hellrung will continue to provide updates a s more information is available. Please reach out to your designated Meltzer Hellrung attorney or with any questions.