Last night, President Trump signed a Proclamation restricting immigration to the U.S. for certain foreign nationals. The order takes effect at 11:59pm EDT on April 23, 2020 and is effective for 60 days (and may be continued depending on labor market conditions.)
In contrast to his tweet and comments at press briefings earlier this week, the scope of the restriction is quite narrow and is not a complete halt on immigration. Rather, the Proclamation suspends entry into the U.S. of individuals who are currently outside of the U.S. and who wish to apply for an immigrant visa to allow them to travel to U.S. and become permanent residents. This will most likely impact family members of U.S. citizens (excepting spouses and children aged under 21) and U.S. permanent residents who are seeking immigrant visas, as well as a relatively small number of employment-based immigrant visa applicants who are outside of the U.S.
The Proclamation does not apply to the following classes of foreign nationals:
- Individuals who are outside the U.S. and who are seeking temporary nonimmigrant visas to the US;
- Individuals who are outside of the U.S. and are holders of valid immigrant visas and similar U.S. travel documents;
- Individuals who are physically present in the U.S. and who are seeking, or who are already in, temporary nonimmigrant status (such as H-1B, L-1, TN, O-1);
- Individuals who are physically present in the U.S. and who are applying for, or have already applied for, adjustment of status to permanent residence through USCIS;
- Individuals who are the current or future beneficiaries of “PERM” Labor Certification Applications or I-140 Immigrant Petitions; and
- Certain other exempted categories of individuals (such as essential health care workers, members of the U.S. armed forces, EB-5 immigrant investors; etc.)
Please note that most foreign nationals are already unable to travel to the U.S. on account of the COVID-19 crisis, and as such, the immediate impact of the Proclamation is expected to be limited. However, President Trump has hinted that he may issue additional proclamations in the future depending on the state of the U.S. economy as the crisis abates.
We will reach out to any clients whose employees may be impacted by the April 22 Proclamation. In the meantime, please reach out to Lori Geisinger (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Ed Farwell (email@example.com) if you have any questions.