President Trump late yesterday signed a Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak. A copy of that proclamation can be found here.
The proclamation takes effect today, April 23, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. (EST) and does not impact foreign nationals who are in the United States on the effective date. Specifically, the proclamation suspends the entry of any individual seeking to enter the U.S. as an immigrant if that individual meets the following criteria:
Is outside the United States on the effective date of the proclamation (April 23, 2020);
Does not have a valid immigrant visa on the effective date; and
Does not have a valid official travel document (such as a transportation letter, boarding foil or advance parole document) on the effective date or issued on any date thereafter that permits travel to the United States to seek entry or admission.
There are several exemptions enumerated in the proclamation including, but not limited to, lawful permanent residents (also known as “green card holders”), certain health care workers and their families, spouses of U.S. citizens, children under the age of 21 who have U.S. citizen parents, and individuals whose entry would be in the national interest (as determined by the Secretaries of State and DHS or their respective designees).
This proclamation does not impact foreign nationals who are currently in the United States and have filed or are planning on filing for permanent residency while remaining in the U.S.
President Trump first announced intentions to halt immigration in a tweet on April 21, 2020, citing COVID-19 and the need to protect jobs. Some suspected that the forthcoming changes may impact non-immigrants currently in the U.S. from extending their status, including non-immigrant workers in H-1B, L-1, or TN status. However, the proclamation does not impact foreign nationals who are currently in the U.S. on non-immigrant visas. The proclamation does require the Secretaries of Labor and DHS, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to recommend to the President within the next 30 days other appropriate measures to stimulate the U.S. economy and ensure “the prioritization, hiring and employment” of U.S. workers. As such, further restrictions may be implemented beyond the April 23, 2020 proclamation.
We will continue tracking further developments and their impact on foreign nationals.