On April 22, 2020, President Donald J. Trump issued a proclamation temporarily suspending and limiting the entry of some immigrants to the U.S., following the COVID-19 outbreak and the declaration of a national emergency.
The proclamation takes effect at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on April 23, 2020 for 60 days, and suspends the entry of any individual seeking to enter the U.S. as an immigrant who:
- is outside the United States on the effective date of the proclamation;
- does not have an immigrant visa that is valid on the effective date of the 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 the proclamation or issued on any date thereafter that permits travel to the United States to seek entry or admission.
Routine visa services at U.S. consulates were suspended by the U.S. Department of State in March.
The proclamation does not impose restrictions on:
- Lawful permanent residents (LPR);
- Spouses of U.S. citizens;
- Children under 21 of U.S. citizens, or prospective adoptees seeking to enter the United States pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa;
- Adjustment of status applicants in the United States;
- Individuals seeking asylum or refugee status in the United States;
- EB-5 immigrant visa applicants;
- Foreign national physicians, nurses, or other healthcare professionals seeking to enter the United States on an immigrant visa to perform research or work essential to combating, recovering from, or otherwise alleviating the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak;
- The spouses and unmarried children under 21 of the above healthcare professionals who are accompanying or following to join such professionals;
- Individuals who would further important U.S. law enforcement objectives (as determined by the Secretaries of State and DHS based on the recommendation of the Attorney General (AG), or their respective designees);
- Members of the U.S. Armed Forces, their spouses and children;
- Individuals and their spouses or children eligible for Special Immigrant Visas as an Afghan or Iraqi translator/interpreter or U.S. Government Employee (SI or SQ classification); and
- Individuals whose entry would be in the national interest (as determined by the Secretaries of State and DHS, or their respective designees)
Impact on Nonimmigrant Visas
The proclamation does not directly impact nonimmigrant visa programs, such as H-1B, L-1, R-1 and other temporary nonimmigrant workers. However, it orders that, within 30 day of its effective date, the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, review such programs and recommend to the president “other measures appropriate to stimulate the United States economy and ensure the prioritization, hiring, and employment of United States workers.”
Other Key Points of the Proclamation
The proclamation expires 60 days from its effective date but may be continued.
The consular officer has discretion to determine if an individual is within one of the exempted categories.
Individuals who attempt to evade the proclamation through fraud, willful misrepresentation, or illegal entry will be prioritized for removal from the U.S.
For more information, please contact an immigration attorney to find out how this proclamation may affect you.