On June 22, 2020, President Trump issued an executive order suspending the entry of individuals to the United States pursuant to several nonimmigrant visa categories. This proclamation is an extension of the previous April 22 proclamation, as discussed in our previous post here. The visa classifications impacted by this executive order include:

  • H-1B or H-2B visas, and any dependents that would accompany the principal visa holder;
  • J visas, specifically those partaking in an intern, trainee, teacher, camp, counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program, and any dependents that would accompany the principal visa holder;
  • L visas, any dependents that would accompany the principal visa holder;

On June 29, 2020, the White House amended the original proclamation to clarify that the suspension of visa eligibility and limitation of entry applies to those who, as of June 24, 2020, (i) were outside the United States; (ii) did not have a nonimmigrant visa in any of the above-referenced visa classifications and pursuant to which the individual is seeking entry valid on the effective date of the proclamation, and (iii) did not have any other official travel document other than a visa valid as of the effective date.

Please note that the suspension does not apply to the following individuals:

  • Any lawful permanent resident of the United States;
  • The spouses or children of U.S. citizens;
  • Those seeking to provide temporary labor or services essential to the U.S. food supply chain;
  • Those whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of the Department of State and Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

When determining whether an individual's entry would be in the national interest, the Secretaries of State, Labor, and Homeland Security will determine standards for such individuals, including:

  • Those critical to the defense, law enforcement, diplomacy, or national security of the United States;
  • Those who are involved with the provision of medical care to individuals who have contracted COVID-19 and are currently hospitalized;
  • Those who are necessary to facilitate the immediate and continued economic recovery of the United States; or
  • Those who are children who would age out of eligibility for a visa because of this proclamation or the April 22 proclamation.

The proclamation directs consular officers to exercise discretion in determining whether an individual falls within one of the exempted categories.

Within 30 days of the effective date, and every 60 days thereafter, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretaries of State and Labor, shall evaluate and determine whether further modifications are necessary for either proclamation.

With the proclamation's terms leaving many unanswered questions, our team is closely monitoring this situation. The COVID-19 situation and its impact on U.S. immigration is continually evolving. It is important to consult with immigration counsel before making any international travel arrangements.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.