On May 29, 2020, President Trump issued a proclamation

suspending the issuance of F-1 and J-1 visas, and thus the entry

into the U.S. as nonimmigrants of certain students and researchers

from the People's Republic of China (PRC). The proclamation

charges that the PRC uses Chinese post-graduate and post-doctorate

researchers to collect U.S. intellectual property. The proclamation

went into effect on Monday, June 1, at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Standard

Time and will remain in effect until terminated by the

President.

What kinds of students and researchers are affected by this

proclamation?

The proclamation suspends the entry of Chinese nationals seeking

to enter the U.S. on an F or J visa to conduct post-graduate or

post-doctorate studies or research, and who receive funding from,

or who are currently employed by, or study at or conduct research

on behalf of any entity in China that supports the PRC

government's “military-civil fusion strategy.” This

also applies to any Chinese national student or researcher who

performed in any of these capacities in the past and is seeking to

pursue post-graduate or post-doctorate studies or research in the

U.S.

What is the PRC's “military-civil fusion

strategy”?

According to the proclamation, this means “actions by or at

the behest of the PRC to acquire and divert foreign technologies,

specifically critical and emerging technologies, to incorporate

into and advance the PRC's military capabilities.” A

Department of State note published in March 2020 deems this

military-civil fusion strategy a global security threat because its

aim is to give the Chinese Communist Party the most advanced

military in the world by 2049.1

What kinds of students and researchers are not

affected?

The proclamation does not apply to:

  1. Any lawful permanent resident of the United States.
  2. Any alien who is the spouse of a U.S. citizen or lawful

    permanent resident.

  3. Any alien who is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and any

    alien who is a spouse or child of a member of the U.S. Armed

    Forces.

  4. Any alien whose travel falls within the scope of section 11 of

    the United Nations Headquarters Agreement or who would otherwise be

    allowed entry into the U.S. pursuant to U.S obligations under

    international agreements.

  5. Any alien who is studying or conducting research in a field

    involving information that would not contribute to the PRC's

    military-civil strategy, as determined by the Secretary of State

    and the Secretary of Homeland Security.

  6. Any alien whose entry would further important U.S. law

    enforcement objectives as determined by the Secretary of State, the

    Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees.

  7. 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.

Does the proclamation have an expiration date?

As stated above, the proclamation will remain in effect until

terminated by the President.

Are future restrictions on Chinese national students and

researchers anticipated?

Section 6.b. of the proclamation requires that the Secretary of

State and the Secretary of Homeland Security review nonimmigrant

and immigrant programs and provide recommendations to the President

on other measures that would mitigate the risk posed by the

PRC's acquisition of sensitive U.S. technologies and

intellectual property.

What are the potential implications of this proclamation for

Chinese nationals wishing to study, research, or work in the United

States?

As the proclamation defines “military-civil fusion

strategy” broadly and allows the Department of State (DOS) to

decide whose visas should be revoked, the scope and reach is

potentially quite wide. Chinese students seeking to come to the

U.S. may experience additional delays at US Consulates.

More concerning, immigrant workers on H-1B, L-1, or O-1 visas

are not listed as exempt in this proclamation. At this time, it is

not clear what the implications are of this omission but we will

provide updates as we learn more.

Where can I find the complete text of the proclamation?

The proclamation can be found on the White House's

website:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspension-entry-nonimmigrants-certain-students-researchers-peoples-republic-china/

Footnote

1. https://www.state.gov/the-prcs-military-civil-fusion-strategy-is-a-global-security-threat/

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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