On April 22, 2020, President Donald Trump signed an executive order temporarily suspending immigration into the United States for certain immigrant visa seekers. The President’s executive order is in response to the novel coronavirus and its impact on the U.S. labor market, which has resulted in “more than 22 million Americans [filing] for unemployment,” according to the proclamation. The executive order becomes effective at 11:59PM on April 23, 2020, and will be in effect for 60 days. Within 50 days from the effective date, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) and the Department of Labor (“DHL) will recommend whether the executive order should be extended or modified.
This suspension applies only to immigrant visa applicants who are outside of the United States, do not have a valid immigrant visa, and do not have a valid U.S. travel document other than a visa as of the effective date. There are several exemptions to this suspension, including any lawful permanent resident; applicants seeking an immigrant visa as a physician, nurse, or other healthcare professional; spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens; and EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program applicants, among other specific groups.
As it currently stands and as of the date of this blog post, the executive order does not apply to applicants seeking nonimmigrant visas. However, within 30 days of the order, nonimmigrant programs will be reviewed by DHS and DOL, who is required to submit additional recommended measures “appropriate to stimulate the United States economy and ensure the prioritization, hiring, and employment of United States workers.”
We are closely monitoring any and all agency actions affecting U.S. immigration and our clients. If you have questions about whether you are affected by the executive order, our immigration team would be more than happy to assist you.