New Executive Order Suspends Entry of Foreign Nationals Who “Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market”
Who is Impacted?
Effective June 24, the June 22nd proclamation prohibits foreign nationals, and any foreign nationals accompanying or following to join them, from entering the U.S. under the following nonimmigrant visa classifications:
- H-1B: Specialty Occupations requiring at least a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent
- H-2B: Temporary Non-Agricultural Workers
- J: Exchange Visitors – if the foreign national is participating in an intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work program
- L: Intracompany Transferees
The suspension only applies to foreign nationals who, on the effective date of the proclamation:
- Are outside the U.S.;
- Do not have a valid nonimmigrant visa; and
- Do not have a valid official travel document (i.e. a transportation letter, boarding foil, or advance parole document) that permits entry to the U.S.
Are there any Exemptions?
We anticipate that this will NOT impact Canadian citizens since they are already visa exempt in the effected categories. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available. Also, foreign nationals from other countries with valid H-1B, H-2B, J, or L visas on June 24, are not prohibited from entering the U.S. under those visas.
The proclamation suspends issuance of new visas under these nonimmigrant categories until its expiration on December 31, 2020 unless the foreign national is otherwise exempt from the proclamation, because he or she is:
- A lawful permanent resident of the U.S.;
- A spouse or child of a U.S. citizen;
- Seeking to enter the U.S. to provide temporary labor or services essential to the U.S. food supply chain; or
- Seeking to enter the U.S. in a capacity that would be in the national interest as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees.
The proclamation provides that the Secretaries of State, Labor, and Homeland Security will establish standards for categories of aliens covered by the national interest exemption. While the language of the exemption is broad, the proclamation notes that the categories will include foreign nationals who are: conducting medical research to help the U.S. combat COVID-19; involved with providing medical care to people who have COVID-19 and are currently hospitalized; necessary to facilitate the economic recovery of the U.S.; or critical to the defense, law enforcement, diplomacy, or national security of the U.S. In May, the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security applied a national interest exemption to the U.S. travel bans to professional athletes competing in U.S. events.
The government will review the proclamation and recommend any necessary modifications (including extension) within 30 days of June 24, 2020, and every 60 days after, until it expires on December 31, 2020. If you have questions about how the suspension of these nonimmigrant visa classifications may affect you, be sure to contact Berardi Immigration Law to schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys today.