President Trump today signed a presidential proclamation to temporarily suspend the entry of certain employment-based, family-based and other nonimmigrants, with a number of exceptions. The President characterized the measure as a means to protect U.S. workers and conserve medical resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The suspension takes effect June 24, 2020 at 12:01 AM ET and will be in place through December 31, 2020, with the possibility of extensions beyond that timeframe. The order states that those who violate the proclamation will be prioritized for removal from the United States.
Who is Subject to the Suspension
The proclamation suspends the entry of nonimmigrants to the United States, in the following nonimmigrant categories, with a number of exceptions as outlined below:
- H-1B or H-2B visa, and any alien accompanying or following to join such alien;
- 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
- L visa, and any alien accompanying or following to join such alien.
The suspension and limitation on entry shall apply only to any alien who:
- is outside the United States on the effective date of this proclamation;
- does not have a nonimmigrant visa that is valid on the effective date of this proclamation; and
- does 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.
Who is Exempt from the Suspension
The following groups are exempt from the proclamation:
- U.S. lawful permanent residents;
- 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.