President Trump has signed a presidential proclamation suspending certain visas for individuals who are currently outside the U.S. This is an expansion of the visa suspension announced by President Trump in April 2020. The new suspension will run until December 31, 2020 and impacts certain employment-based green cards and nonimmigrant work visas (visas listed below). Please note: this does not impact individuals who are currently in the U.S.
On Monday, June 22, President Trump signed a presidential proclamation suspending the issuance of new employment-based visas to nonimmigrants outside the U.S. through the end of the year. The proclamation also extends a previous proclamation from April that suspended immigrant visa (green card) processing for certain applicants outside the U.S.
The impacted visa categories include:
- H-1B visas
- L-1 visas
- H-2B visas
- J visas
Who Does This Impact?
The suspension will impact applicants for the aforementioned visa categories outside of the U.S. when the proclamation takes effect at 12:01 AM Eastern Daylight Time on June 24, 2020.
The new restrictions will not apply to visa holders already in the U.S., or those outside the country who have already been issued valid visas at the time the proclamation takes effect.
The proclamation omits H-2A visas for agricultural workers entirely and lists a broad exemption for those deemed critical to the U.S. food supply. The Secretary of State, Secretary of Labor and Secretary of Homeland Security shall establish further exemptions for those deemed to be critical to national security, combatting COVID-19 or as deemed necessary to facilitate the immediate and continued economic recovery of the U.S.
How Are GIA And Envoy Responding?
Both Envoy and GIA are following the situation closely and will update clients on a case-by-case basis. Broader updates will be announced as details become available.
What Do I Need To Do Next?
GIA advises anyone currently outside the U.S. to use the Communication Center in the Envoy platform to notify their GIA legal team, and be sure to inform them as to whether or not there is a valid visa in your passport. GIA can review the situation with your employer and make arrangements accordingly.
For foreign nationals in the U.S. with upcoming urgent travel, GIA advises posting to the Communication Center and the legal team can help determine next steps. Even if a foreign national is not covered by the terms of the proclamation, GIA recommends against any nonessential international travel, especially if they do not already have a valid visa for re-entry into the U.S. Most consulates remain shut down for visa services, so those requiring a visa for re-entry will likely face wait times of at least several months to obtain the visa necessary to return.
If you are an employer of someone on one of the aforementioned visas and have questions, please contact your GIA attorney so they may advise.
Envoy is pleased to provide you this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Ryan Bay, who is Partner, Legal Operations at Global Immigration Associates, P.C. (www.giafirm.com), Envoy’s affiliated law firm.
Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an Envoy-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional.