On Friday, October 8, 2020, the Department of State (DOS) updated their guidance regarding the recent injunction issued pursuant to the California federal court’s order in the National Association of Manufacturers v. Department of Homeland Security.
By way of background, on October 1, 2020, a federal district court in California issued an order prohibiting the Department of Homeland Security from enforcing section 2 of Presidential Proclamation (PP) 10052 against the named plaintiffs and members of the plaintiff associations. Specifically, any J-1, H-1B, H-2B, or L-1 applicant sponsored by any of the plaintiffs or members of the plaintiff associations are no longer subject to the entry restrictions as outlined in the PP 10052 and can have their J-1, H-1B, H-2B, or L-1 visas processed. The named plaintiffs include the National Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Retail Federation, TechNet, and Intrax, Inc.
If a company is a member of any of these organizations, its employees may be able to benefit from the Order. However, there are many issues that employees planning on applying for such visas must consider. Firstly, most U.S. Embassies and Consulates around the world cannot operate at full capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic and unique in-country conditions. As a result, these Consular Sections are only accepting emergency appointments. The DOS has confirmed that this order will not be taken into account in making emergency appointments available to individuals. Secondly, there are several regional travel bans in place that prohibit direct travel to the U.S. We recommend that individuals reach out to our office to discuss their travel plans before making any final travel plans.
The Presidential Proclamation 10052 is set to expire on December 31, 2020.