On Wednesday, April 22, 2020, President Trump signed a proclamation to temporarily suspend certain employment-based, family-based, and other immigrants from entering the United States for 60 days from the proclamation’s effective date of April 23, 2020.  This suspension applies only to foreign nationals outside of the United States as of April 23 who do not possess an immigrant visa (or other official travel document) that is valid as of April 23.  The proclamation does not affect the filing, processing, or adjudication of applications for adjustment of status to permanent residence by foreign nationals already in the United States (Forms I-485). 

Certain groups are exempt from the proclamation’s suspension, including but not limited to: U.S. lawful permanent residents; holders of currently valid immigrant visas or other similar U.S. travel documents; the spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens; EB-5 investment-based immigrants; any foreign national seeking to enter the U.S. on an immigrant visa as a physician, nurse, or other healthcare professional (and any spouse or unmarried minor children); and any foreign national whose entry is in the U.S. national interest.

The proclamation does not immediately impact the H-1B, L-1A/B, or other nonimmigrant (temporary) worker programs.  However, within 30 days of the effective date of the proclamation, the U.S. Department of Labor and Department of Homeland Security are directed to review nonimmigrant programs and recommend measures to “stimulate the United States economy and ensure the prioritization, hiring, and employment of United States workers.”  Such recommendations could lead to future restrictions on nonimmigrant worker programs in the United States.  Stay tuned.

Here is a link to the proclamation: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspending-entry-immigrants-present-risk-u-s-labor-market-economic-recovery-following-covid-19-outbreak/ (Proclamation no longer available post 6/9/2022)


Robin B. Killeen (paralegal) 

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