On June 22, 2020, President Trump signed Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak. That proclamation affects a number of non-immigrant and immigrant visa applications, but only for people applying from outside of the United States.
First, the proclamation extended the restrictions announced on April 22, 2020 until December 31, 2020. Those restrictions stopped any person from entering the United States as a new lawful permanent resident. It only applied to people who were outside the United States, did not already have a valid immigrant visa and didn’t otherwise have an official travel document to enter the United States. It did not apply to any current permanent residents, any spouse or child of a US citizen, essential health care workers, or any Immigrant Investors among a few other exceptions. No bars were initially placed on any non-immigrant visas initially. However, since US consulates worldwide were closed due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, all visa issuances abroad were temporarily halted anyway.
In the new proclamation, President Trump, in addition to extending the April 22 order, added to the list of banned new visas anyone applying for an H1B (and H-4), H2B, L or J-1 visas. Once again, this temporary bar does not apply to anyone who as of the date of the proclamation is inside the United States, already has a valid non-immigrant visa, or has an official US travel document. It also exempts from the effects of the proclamation: any lawful permanent resident, any spouse or child of a US Citizen, any person coming to provide essential labor or services to the US food supply chain, and any person whose entry would be in the national interest of the United States.
Although these temporary bars have been announced, that does not mean that processing for any of the affected visa types cannot be started or continued. Additionally, no one who remains in the United States is affected by these bars. Furthermore, if a person had to go abroad to apply for a visa but was inside the United States on the day of the proclamation they would still be eligible to do so. Since many non-immigrant and immigrant visas take many months if not years to process, this does remain a perfect to begin new processes. Receipts are down at USCIS, so they should be able to process cases faster. Presumably anyone starting now their process now will be in a good position to finalize their case once the bars are lifted. Finally, once the Consulates can issue new visas to the affected categories, a person with an approved application would already in line to do so.
If you, a family member, or employee wish to discuss your options in light of the new executive order, the attorneys at Kriezelman Burton and Associates are available to assist you. Call our office today at 312-332-2550 to schedule a consultation.
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