On June 22, 2020, President Trump signed an executive order further restricting legal immigration into the US.
WHAT DOES THIS ORDER DO?
President Trump extends his April 22, 2020 order, which has paused many immigrant visas (green cards) processed at US consulates abroad, until the end of the year. President Trump also added additional restrictions for certain work visa issuance and entry into the US through the end of 2020. The order states that it can be extended further if needed. President Trump cites COVID-19 related unemployment rates as the justification for this order. However, business leaders and experts have urged that losing skilled workers, innovators and entrepreneurs will do more harm to economic recovery and the ability to do business in the US than help.
WHO IS AFFECTED BY THIS ORDER?
This order suspends and limits for those seeking to enter the US with the following non-immigrant visas:
- H-1B or H-2B visa (and their accompanying spouse and children);
- J visa, to the extent the individual is participating in an intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program, and (and their accompanying spouse and children);
- L visa (and their accompanying spouse and children);
The proclamation only applies to those who are outside the United States on the effective date of this proclamation and who do not have a valid visa or travel document as of the effective date of this proclamation.
WHO IS EXEMPT FROM THIS ORDER?
See our prior blog for exemptions to the April 22, 2020 order on immigrant visas.
The following persons are exempt from the new restrictions related to the non-immigrant work visas:
- US lawful permanent residents (green card holders)
- Spouse or child of a US citizen as defined in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)
- Individuals providing temporary labor or services essential to the United States food supply chain; and
- Individuals who need to enter the US per the national interest as determined by the Secretary of State or the Secretary of Homeland Security
WHAT DOES THIS ORDER MEAN?
- Except for spouses and children of US citizens, green card cases being processed at consulates abroad will be delayed until at least the end of the year.
- Individuals with H-1, L-1 and affected J-1 status in the US (as well as their spouses and children) should not depart the US. The order restricts entry into the US and visa issuance, but does not affect those who are in the US with no plans to depart the US this year. Those who remain in the US and can renew their status here will not be affected.
- Individuals with H-1, L-1 and affected J-1 status outside the US on the date of this proclamation, cannot enter the US unless they have valid visa or parole documents issued on or before 6/22/2020.
- If President Trump is re-elected, we expect that this order could be extended and other legal immigration restrictions are expected. We also expect President Trump will continue efforts to eliminate DACA despite the Supreme Court ruling this week.
COME TO ANTONINI & COHEN WITH ALL YOUR IMMIGRATION QUESTIONS
Antonini & Cohen has fought for the rights of foreign nationals in the U.S. and abroad for over 30 years. Visit us online or call us at (404) 850-9394 for assistance with any immigration issue you’re facing.
Nisha K. Karnani was born in the United Kingdom to Indian parents and immigrated to the United States as a child. She earned her Bachelor of Arts with Honors in Economics from the University of North Carolina in 1998 and her Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 2001.
Ms. Karnani has practiced immigration law exclusively since being admitted to the Georgia Bar in 2001. She was an Associate Attorney with Cohen & Associates beginning in 2001, a firm which merged and became the Antonini & Cohen Immigration Law Group in 2013. As a Partner at Antonini and Cohen, Ms. Karnani represents clients in employment and family immigration on issues. She also represents victims of domestic violence and other crimes in various immigration matters.