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Summary and Analysis of the “Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry as Nonimmigrants of Certain Students and Researchers from the PRC”

May 30, 2020

May 29, 2020 — Today at 4:00 pm EST, the White House released the “Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry as Nonimmigrants of Certain Students and Researchers from the PRC.” 

The Proclamation, which takes effect at 12:00 pm EST on June 1, 2020, is summarized as follows:

  • Chinese foreign nationals seeking to apply for an F-1/J-1 visa for graduate studies in the US will be banned from obtaining an F-1/J-1 visa (and/or admission to the US if they currently have an F-1/J-1 visa) if it is determined that they are associated/affiliated with any entity in China that engages in intellectual property theft to assist the advancement of the Chinese military.
    • Association/affiliation is defined as a person who “is or has received funding, currently employed, studied at, or conducted research at or on behalf of.”
    • The Proclamation refers to the term “military-civil fusion strategy,” which is defined as actions by or at the behest of China to acquire and divert foreign technologies, specifically critical and emerging technologies, to incorporate into and advance China’s military program.
  • The Proclamation exempts the following individuals:
    • Green cards holders and their spouses;
    • Any person who is a member of the US military and their spouse/child;
    • Any Chinese foreign national seeking undergraduate study in the US.
  • It is unclear how this will impact dual nationals of China and another country.
  • The Proclamation may exempt the following individuals:
    • Any Chinese foreign national seeking graduate study or conducting research in the US that is unrelated to critical and emerging technologies (e.g., non-STEM fields such as literature, poetry, the arts) – subject to approval and category determination by Secretary of State and Department of Homeland Security.
  • The Secretary of State will review those Chinese foreign nationals currently in the US on F-1/J-1 visas, and may choose to revoke their visas per INA Section 221(i).
  • Within 60 days, the Administration will review broader visa and green card policies for Chinese foreign nationals in order to protect the intellectual property of the US.

EIG’s Quick Summary: Chinese foreign nationals seeking to come to the US for graduate studies in STEM fields may be banned effective June 1. Undergraduate students are exempt. The Administration will review the F-1/J-1 visa holders currently in the US (graduate students only), and may revoke their visas and OPT work authorization. Finally, the Administration will spend the next 60 days evaluating H-1B, L-1, O-1, and green card policies for Chinese foreign nationals, which could lead to further restrictions and revocations.

As always, we will monitor further developments, and notify you when we hear more.