As we anticipated, the President released today at 7:00 PM EST, a proclamation titled: “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak“.
Summary: No impact to both immigrant and nonimmigrant employment-based immigration processes for individuals already living and working in the U.S.
Here are the takeaways from this proclamation:
- Are employees on work visas currently in the U.S. impacted?
No, nonimmigrant visa holders (i.e., H-1B; L-1; E-3; TN; etc.) in the U.S. are not impacted by this proclamation. This means individuals can continue to file change of employer, change of status, amendments, and extensions.
- Can employers continue sponsoring green card applications in the U.S.?
Yes, the proclamation does not restrict the ability of employers to continue sponsorship for permanent residence in the U.S. Companies can continue to file PERMs, Form I-140s, and Form I-485 with USCIS. Foreign nationals currently in the U.S. can also continue to file family-based green card applications (Form I-130).
- Who will be Impacted?
Foreign Nationals outside the U.S. on the effective date of the proclamation, seeking entry to the U.S. pursuant to an immigrant visa (permanent resident permit) and who do not have an immigrant visa that is valid on the effective date of this proclamation will not be permitted entry during the duration of this proclamation.
- When will it go into effect, and how long will it last?
The proclamation will go into effect on April 23, 2020, and will last an initial period of 60 days. The Administration reserves the right to review and extend the restriction as deemed necessary.
- Who is exempt (summary)?
- Lawful Permanent Residents of the U.S. (green card holders);
- Foreign Nationals applying for an immigrant visa pursuant to the EB-5 category;
- Children under the age of 21 and spouses of U.S. Citizens
What we’re watching: The EO states that, within “30 days of the effective date of this proclamation, the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall review nonimmigrant programs,” and make recommendations to the President in favor of measures that would stimulate the U.S. economy.
Please also note that during a press conference held earlier this evening, the President confirmed again that he has the right to revise this proclamation and extend or expand its scope he deems necessary.