President Trump issued a proclamation on Monday, June 22, 2020,

extending the Presidential Proclamation of April 22, 2020

suspending entry of certain foreign nationals who hold immigrant

visas issued on or after April 24, 2020, and suspending certain

categories of nonimmigrants from entering the U.S. The order takes

effect at 12:01 a.m. EST (Eastern Standard Time) on June 24, 2020,

and suspends the issuance of visas to foreign nationals seeking

entry into the U.S. under the following categories:

  • H-1B category (specialty occupation

    workers) and any foreign national accompanying or following to join

    them;

  • H-2B category (seasonal workers) and

    any foreign national accompanying or following to join them;

  • J category (students, researchers) to

    the extent the foreign national is participating in an intern,

    trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel

    program, and any foreign national accompanying or following to join

    them; and

  • L category (intracompany

    transferees), and any foreign national accompanying or following to

    join them.

The proclamation will remain in effect through December 31,

2020. According to the text of the proclamation1, its scope applies

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 U.S. and

    seek entry or admission.

The proclamation does not apply to:

  • Lawful permanent residents;
  • Spouse or child of a U.S.

    citizen;

  • Any individual seeking entry to

    provide temporary labor essential to the U.S. food supply

    chain;

  • Any individual whose entry would be

    in the national interest as determined by the Secretary of State,

    the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective

    designees.

Exemptions for “national interest” will be

determined by the Secretaries of State, Labor, and Homeland

Security based upon whether foreign nationals seeking entry into

the U.S.:

  • Are critical to the defense, law

    enforcement, diplomacy, or national security of the United

    States;

  • Are involved with the provision of

    medical care to individuals who have contracted COVID-19 and are

    currently hospitalized;

  • Are involved with the provision of

    medical research at U.S. facilities to help the U.S. combat

    COVID-19;

  • Are necessary to facilitate the

    immediate and continued economic recovery of the U.S.;

    or

  • Are children who would age out of

    eligibility for a visa because of this proclamation or the

    proclamation issued on April 22, 2020.

Both secretaries are to recommend modifications of this

proclamation to the President thirty days after June 24, 2020, and

every sixty days thereafter.

The proclamation does not impact foreign

nationals outside of the U.S. pursuing F-1, TN, H-1B1, E-2, E-1,

E-3, O-1 employment-based nonimmigrant visa categories. In

addition, foreign nationals inside the U.S. in the

H-1B, H-2B, L-1, and J-1 categories are not impacted. With respect

to foreign nationals outside the U.S. who are in possession of a

valid H-1B, H-2B, L-1, and J-1 visa, it is unknown whether these

foreign nationals would be able to use these visas to enter the

U.S. However, a reading of the proclamation indicates these foreign

nationals may be able to use these visas to enter the U.S. Foreign

nationals who are outside the U.S. and in possession of an H-1B,

H-2B, L-1, and J-1 may want to contact the U.S. Customers and

Border Protection (CBP) office at the port of entry the foreign

national wishes to enter, or the U.S. Department of State (DOS)

embassy or consulate that issued the visa, for clarification. It is

possible that various government agencies may issue additional

guidance in the future on this issue.

Many businesses such as Apple, Facebook, and Google, and

organizations, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have opposed

the proclamation, stating that it will hurt American businesses by

blocking their efforts to attract and retain skilled talent at a

time and thus undermining the nation's economic recovery.

Senior administration officials, however, contend that the

suspension of new nonimmigrant visas is necessary to put unemployed

Americans back to work, and that the president aims to create a

merits-based system that would distribute H-1B visas based on which

applicants receive the highest wage offers.2 It is anticipated

that the Presidential Proclamation may be challenged. Our office

will continue to monitor the impact of President's Trump

recent proclamation on foreign nationals and the business

community, and provide updates as information becomes

available.

Footnotes

1 Office

of the President. “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Alien Who

Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus

Outbreak.” June 22, 2020.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspending-entry-aliens-present-risk-u-s-labor-market-following-coronavirus-outbreak/

2 Brett

Samuels. “Trump to Sign Executive Order Suspending Certain

Work Visas Through 2020.” The Hill: June 22, 2020.

https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/503914-trump-to-sign-executive-order-suspending-certain-work-visas-through

Originally Published by Fakhoury, June 2020

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.

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