Published on 4/23/2020
The White House issued a Presidential Proclamation on April 22, 2020, which will go into effect at 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on April 23, 2020. The Proclamation suspends and limits the entry of certain immigrants outside the U.S., including those who have not been issued a valid immigrant visa or who do not possess a valid travel document as of the effective date of the order. Individuals with nonimmigrant visas (such as H-1B, F-1, L-1, TN, B-1/B-2, and E visas) will still be allowed entry to the U.S. U.S. Consulates and Embassies already have been closed around the world since March, which has resulted in the suspension of most visa applications with the exception of emergency situations.
The Proclamation temporarily restricts entry of individuals with an immigrant visa issued after the effective date who are parents, siblings, and children over 21 of United States citizens, as well as individuals seeking to enter the U.S. pursuant to an employment-based immigrant visa (other than through the EB-5 program). The entry ban will be effective for a period of 60 days from April 23, 2020 through June 22, 2020, and may be extended by the Administration.
The Proclamation exempts many individuals from the entry ban, including the following:
- Lawful permanent residents (green card holders);
- People seeking to enter the U.S. on an immigrant visa as a physician, nurse, or other healthcare professional, to perform medical research intended to combat the spread of COVID, or to perform work essential to combating recovering from or alleviating the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, as determined by DOS or DHS;
- EB-5 immigrant investors;
- Spouses of U.S. citizens;
- Children under 21 of U.S. citizens or prospective adoptees;
- People who further important U.S. law enforcement objectives, as determined by DOS or DHS;
- Members of the U.S. Armed Forces or their spouses and children;
- Special Immigrants (including Iraqi and Afghani translators and religious workers); and
- People whose entry would be in the national interest as determined by Department of State or Department of Homeland Security.
In practical terms, the Proclamation will not impact foreign nationals seeking to adjust status to permanent residency within the U.S. based on family or employment, including individuals being sponsored for a green card by their employers through the PERM labor certification process. In addition, it does not restrict or limit any nonimmigrant or immigrant petition or application filing with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), including I-130 petitions, I-140 petitions, and nonimmigrant petitions for H-1B, TN, L-1, TN, E, L and O status. H-1B cap petitions under the FY-2021 quota may continue to be filed with USCIS up until June 30, 2020.
The Immigration Group at Ryan Swanson is closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on U.S. immigration and international travel and will be sure to post updates when available. Please contact your immigration attorney at Ryan Swanson if you have any questions.
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Cody Nunn can be reached at [email protected].
This message has been released by the Immigration Group at Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC to advise of recent developments in the law. Because each situation is different, this information is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice on any specific facts and circumstances. Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC is a full-service law firm located in Seattle, Washington.