Today the White House published a proclamation entitled Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak.
What is actually suspended? The order halts for 60 days entry to the U.S. and issuance of immigrant visas (stickers placed in passports by the Department of State through consulates outside the U.S.) for certain immigrants only.
The order last 60 days and applies to the following people:
- People outside the U.S. who are coming to the U.S. permanently.
The order does not apply to aliens inside the U.S. nor to people coming temporarily;
The order does NOT apply to:
- U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents (with a valid I-551 Green Card or ADIT stamp, or a valid immigrant visa issued before April 24, 2020);
- People seeking temporary entry, such as B1/B2, E, F, H, J, K, L, M, O, P, TN, and R visa holders, Visa Waiver entrants, visa exempt Canadians and Mexicans;
- Physicians, Nurses, health care professionals and medical researchers;
- People traveling on Advance Parole or other valid travel documents;
- Spouses and children (under 21) of U.S. Citizens and IR-4 and IH-4 adoptees;
- Immigrant investors under the EB-5 program;
- Members of the United States Armed Forces and their spouses and children;
- Special immigrants and their spouses and children;
- People whose entry would be in the national interest, and informants.
Thankfully the proclamation is not as broad as initially described by President Trump. INA section 212(f) narrowly applies to ‘entry’ and the exceptions reveal a much smaller class of people than originally announced. It appears the Department of Justice and the White House hope to avoid a defeat in court during a tough election season by keeping the order narrow.
Many people awaiting their immigrant visas will be seriously impacted by this proclamation. Practically speaking, consulates are not issuing visas presently due to the global pandemic, so this proclamation is just setting an expiration date on an existing cessation. If you have questions about how this or other U.S. immigration laws contact us. We have decades of experience.
This article is designed to provide general information and is not intended as legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.