New Ban on Non-Immigrant Visas to Impact H-1B, H-2B, J-1, and L-1 Visa Applicants

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New Ban on Non-Immigrant Visas to Impact H-1B, H-2B, J-1, and L-1 Visa Applicants

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On June 22, 2020, President Trump issued a proclamation suspending and limiting the entry of any individual seeking admission pursuant to the following visa categories:

  • H-1B;
  • H-2B;
  • L-1;
  • J-1 to the extent the individual is participating in an intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program;
  • Any individual accompanying or following to join any an individual in the above categories.

In addition to the above non-immigrant visa suspensions, the proclamation also extends the ban on immigrant visas set forth in the President’s April 22nd proclamation, which has the primary effect of halting employment-based immigrant visas from being issued at consulates abroad.  This new proclamation is effective June 24, 2020, and is set to expire at the end of the year on December 31, 2020.

Exceptions are available for individuals who will be providing temporary labor or services essential to the U.S. food supply chain, which will be a relief for some H-2B employers this winter, as well as for any individual whose entry would be in the national interest, which will be determined at the discretion of the consular officer.  Lawful Permanent Residents (those with green cards), and spouses and children of U.S. citizens are similarly exempt.

Importantly, this bar applies only to those (1) who do not currently hold a valid visa, and (2) are currently outside of the United States.  As such, changes of status, extensions of status, transferring employers, and similar activities, even within the categories listed above will not be impacted.  Similarly, those in the U.S. already who are applying for adjustment of status through their employers will not be impacted.

While we are still in the nascent stages of the implementation of this proclamation (and any challenges to it), it is important to note that this proclamation will directly impact employers and employees who have H-1B petitions with a start date this Fall, and it will severely impact the 2020 winter H-2B filing season.

If you have specific questions about the proclamations’ impact on your case, your status, or your business, please contact our office.

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