UPDATE: Today, Monday June 22, 2020, President Trump signed a new executive order entitled, “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak,” extending the April 22nd Presidential Proclamation and adding new restrictions for nonimmigrant workers who “pose a risk of displacing and disadvantaging United States workers during the coronavirus recovery,” including H-1B, H-2B, J, and L nonimmigrant workers.
According to the executive order, the entry of these nonimmigrants “presents a significant threat to employment opportunities for Americans affected by the extraordinary economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.”
When does the order apply?
The order is effective at 12:01 am eastern daylight time on June 24, 2020 and will last through December 31, 2020, suspending the entry of certain immigrant and nonimmigrant aliens as outlined here. Within 30 days of June 24, 2020 (on July 24th), and every 60 days thereafter while the proclamation is in effect, the Secretary of Homeland Security will, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Labor, recommend any modifications to the order.
When does the order terminate?
The proclamation terminates on December 31, 2020 and can be continued by the government as necessary.
Will the April 22nd Proclamation Be Extended?
Yes, the second paragraph of the new executive order states, “In Proclamation 10014 of April 22, 2020, …I determined that …the United States faces a potentially protracted economic recovery with persistently high unemployment if labor supply outpaces labor demand. Consequently, I suspended, for a period of 60 days, the entry of aliens as immigrants, subject to certain exceptions… Given that 60 days is an insufficient time period for the United States labor market …to rebalance… considerations present in Proclamation 10014 remain.” This means the April 22nd proclamation will continue until at least December 31st and all conditions subject to that proclamation will continue to remain in place.
Who is suspended from entering the United States on June 24th through December 31st?
Aliens seeking to enter the United States on:
- an H-1B or H-2B visa, and any alien accompanying or following to join such alien;
- a J visa, to the extent the alien is participating in an intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program, and any alien accompanying or following to join such alien; and
- an L visa, and any alien accompanying or following to join such alien.
AND WHO ARE
- outside the United States on the effective date of this proclamation (June 24nd);
- and do not have a nonimmigrant visa that is valid on the effective date of this proclamation;
- and 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) that is valid on the effective date of this proclamation or issued on any date thereafter that permits him or her to travel to the United States and seek entry or admission.
If any of these conditions do not apply, the proclamation does not impact you.
Who is exempt from the order (not impacted)?
In addition to the exemptions outlined in the April 22nd proclamation the order exempts:
- any lawful permanent resident of the United States;
- (any alien who is the spouse or child, as defined in section 101(b)(1) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1101(b)(1)), of a United States citizen;
- any alien seeking to enter the United States to provide temporary labor or services essential to the United States food supply chain; and
- any alien whose entry would be in the national interest as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees.
How will this order be enforced?
This Proclamation shall be enforced by U.S. Consulates worldwide at their discretion giving them the power to determine whether an immigrant has established his or her eligibility and is otherwise exempted from the Proclamation. The Department of State will implement the proclamation as it applies to immigrant visas, at the discretion of the Secretary of State in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security.
The Department of State governs the immigration process outside of the United States, while the Department of Homeland Security governs the immigration process within the United States and guides the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS will not be responsible for enforcing this proclamation.
Alert for EB-2, EB-3, and H-1B Applicants and Visa Holders
In section 5(b) entitled “Additional Measures,” the executive order states that the Secretaries of Labor and Homeland Security will consider passing regulations or taking other action “to ensure that the presence in the United States of aliens who have been admitted…or who are seeking admission or a benefit, pursuant to an EB-2 or EB-3 immigrant visa or an H-1B nonimmigrant visa does not disadvantage United States workers in violation of section 212(a)(5)(A) or (n)(1) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(5)(A) or (n)(1)).”
This means that the government wants to ensure that applicants – who are seeking or have already been approved under the EB-2, EB-3, or H-1B visa program – do not displace American workers. This section of the order authorizes the Secretary of Labor to conduct investigations to make sure Americans are not negatively affected by the approval or issuance of a visa under EB-2, EB-3, or H-1B.
In addition Section 5(b)(iii) provides that “as soon as practicable…[the Secretary may] consider promulgating regulations or take other appropriate action regarding the efficient allocation of visas pursuant to section 214(g)(3) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1184(g)(3)) and ensuring that the presence in the United States of H-1B nonimmigrants does not disadvantage United States workers.”
This section of the order may highlight additional restrictions that are to come to ensure that EB-2, EB-3, and H-1B workers do not displace American workers.
What if I was recently issued an H, L, or J visa? Will the Order impact me?
No. The order does not impact those who were issued a non-immigrant visa such as the H1B, L1, or J1 visa prior to June 24th (the effective date of the executive order.
I am in the United States and need to apply to renew my H, L, or J visa. Will the order impact me?
No. Applications to change or extend H, L, or J visa status filed with USCIS are not subject to the executive order. Only those who are outside of the United States, and do not have a valid immigrant visa or official travel document will be impacted.
What about F-1 or STEM OPT? Will the order impact me?
No. The executive order does not impact F-1 students or STEM OPT.
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