23 April 2020

President Trump Issues Proclamation Suspending the Entry of Certain Immigrant Categories

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Yesterday, April 22, 2020, President Trump signed a Presidential Proclamation that suspends the entry of certain categories of foreign nationals seeking to immigrate to the United States. The Proclamation is effective at 11:59 p.m. (E.T.) on April 23, 2020 and will expire 60 days after its effective date unless extended.


Who is subject to the Presidential Proclamation Suspension?

The Presidential Proclamation suspends and limits the entry of foreign nationals as U.S. Permanent Residents (i.e. Green Card holders) for 60 days. The Proclamation applies to foreign nationals who: (1) are currently outside of the United States; (2) do not have an immigrant visa that is valid on the effective date of the proclamation; and (3) do not have 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 to travel to the United States. The Proclamation does not apply to foreign nationals already in the United States applying for an adjustment of status to permanent resident status.

The Proclamation specifically exempts several categories of foreign nationals including:

  • Foreign nationals seeking to enter the United States on an immigrant visa as a physician, nurse or other healthcare professional, as well as their spouse and unmarried children under 21;
  • Lawful permanent residents of the United States
  • Applicants for EB-5 investment based immigrant visas;
  • Spouses of U.S. citizens;
  • Children under 21 of U.S. citizens and prospective adoptees in the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications;
  • Foreign nationals whose entry would further important U.S. law enforcement objectives;
  • Members of the U.S. armed forces and the spouses and children of such individuals;
  • Foreign nationals seeking to enter as Special Immigrants in the SI or SQ classification, and the spouse and children of such individuals; and
  • Foreign nationals whose entry is in the U.S. national interest.

How Are Employers and Foreign National Employees Impacted?

The Proclamation will have very limited impact on U.S. employer sponsored immigration. As stated above, the Proclamation applies to a few specific categories of foreign nationals seeking U.S. permanent residence and who are currently outside the U.S. Of note, due to COVID-19 containment measures U.S. Embassies and Consulates previously suspended routine immigrant visa issuance in late March until further notice. While the Proclamation does not impact nonimmigrant visas, i.e. E-1/E-2, H-1B, L-1, O-1, or TNs,  the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Labor are ordered to review nonimmigrant programs and recommend measures within 30 days to “stimulate the U.S. economy and ensure the prioritization, hiring and employment of United States workers.”

Miller Johnson is closely monitoring application of the Proclamation and any future developments.  We emphasize, the Proclamation has no impact on a foreign national’s ability to continue working in the U.S. Any questions about the Proclamation or other immigration issues may be directed to a member of the Miller Johnson Immigration Law Practice Group.