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COVID-19 Update: Presidential Proclamation Suspending Entry of a Specific Group of Immigrants and A Warning for Non-immigrants

On April 22, 2020, Donald Trump, President of the United States of America, signed an executive order to suspend the entry of a specific group of Immigrants for the next 60 days, effective 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on April 23, 2020.

This executive order follows President’s Monday late night tweet, where he announced the upcoming suspension of immigration to the United States. The justification of the White House behind passing this order is to protect Americans from competition from foreign workers during the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Below is our analysis of the executive order:

  1. Who will be affected?
  • People who are outside of the United States and are seeking entry into the United States through Green Card, such as US Citizen parents, adult child or siblings.
  • Spouses and Children of the Permanent Residents (Green Card Holders).
  • Individuals seeking to enter the United States through Employment Based Green Cards
  1. Who is exempted?
  • This order does not impact the filing or processing of applications for adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident status (i.e. I-485), for the applicants who are already in the United States of America lawfully. Also, it seems that the filing of the immigrant visa applications for those who are outside of the United States of America is not explicitly prohibited by this order; therefore, we believe that the applications can still be filed, just that it will not be approved until the suspension ends.
  • Any alien who is the spouse of a United States citizen.
  • Any alien applying for a visa to enter the United States pursuant to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program
  • Any alien who is under 21 years old and is the child of a United States citizen, or who is a prospective adoptee seeking to enter the United States pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications
  • Any member of the United States Armed Forces and any spouse and children of a member of the United States Armed Forces
  • Any alien having an immigrant visa that is valid on the effective date of this proclamation.
  • Any alien having 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 United States and seek entry or admission.
  • Any alien seeking to enter the United States on an immigrant visa as a physician, nurse, or other healthcare professional; to perform medical research or other research intended to combat the spread of COVID-19; or to perform work essential to combating, recovering from, or otherwise alleviating the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designee’s; and any spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old of any such alien who are accompanying or following to join the alien.
  • Any alien whose entry would further important United States law enforcement objectives, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designee’s, based on a recommendation of the Attorney General or his designee
  • Any alien seeking to enter the United States pursuant to a Special Immigrant Visa in the SI or SQ classification, subject to such conditions as the Secretary of State may impose, and any spouse and children of any such individual
  • 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 designee’s.
  • When will the order terminate?
  • This proclamation shall expire 60 days from its effective date (11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on April 23, 2020) and may be continued as necessary.
  1. What will be the effect of this order on the Non-immigrants?
  • The executive order does not prevent people from getting Non-immigrant visas that are granted on a temporary basis. That includes H-1B specialty workers, H-2A agriculture workers and others such as F-1, L-1, O-1, P-1, B-1, B-2, etc. The executive order also doesn’t void any existing visas.
  1. What are the future implications of this order?
  • President may within 30 days of April 23th, 2020, expand the scope of the suspension order. Accordingly, employment-based visas may be impacted if the President were to be protective of the US workers and, in the words of the proclamation, “stimulate the United States economy and ensure the prioritization, hiring, and employment of United States workers.”
  • President may review this suspension order within 50 days of April 23th, 2020 and recommend it to be extended or modified.

Please note, at present, all the USCIS offices in the United States are closed for in-person services until at least May 03, 2020, and no appointments and naturalization ceremonies are taking place. Also, the United States Consulates abroad have suspended routine visa processing and are only providing emergency services.

 

Please refer to our latest article on COVID-19. We will regularly update the blog section on our website as soon as any new information is available.

 

Latest Article on COVID-19:

  1. http://www.ahluwalialaw.com/covid-19-update-stimulus-payment-and-unemployment-benefits/ (Date of Publication: April 15, 2020)

Disclaimer

This article aims to provide new information concerning recent Presidential proclamation and its effect on the Aliens. This article, under no circumstances, acts as legal advice; therefore, for any proclamation or any immigration questions, please contact your Attorney or the Ahluwalia Law Offices, P.C. (Team ALO).

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