Presidential Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak
On April 22, 2020, President Trump issued a Presidential Proclamation suspending certain persons from entering the United States as immigrants. A link to the Proclamation is below. The Proclamation is effective April 23, 2020 at 11:59 pm (EST) and is in effect for the next 60 days – extensions beyond 60 days or modifications to these provisions are possible. The Proclamation impacts foreign nationals who are obtaining permanent resident status from outside of the United States by obtaining immigrant visas at United States Consulates or Embassies abroad.
The Proclamation does not impact those persons who are obtaining permanent resident status through adjustment of status from inside of the United States.
The Proclamation applies to the following people and suspends their entry to the United States as an immigrant:
- Persons who are outside the United States on or after April 23, 2020;
- Persons who do not have an immigrant visa that is valid as of April 23, 2020; and
- Persons who do not have an official travel document other than a visa (such as a transportation letter, an appropriate boarding foil, or an advance parole document) that is valid as of April 23, 2020 or issued after April 23, 2020, that permits him or her to travel to the United States and seek entry or admission.
The Proclamation does not apply to the following:
- Any lawful permanent resident of the United States;
- Any alien seeking to enter the United States on an immigrant visa as a physician, nurse, or other healthcare professional; to perform medical research or other research intended to combat the spread of COVID-19; or to perform work essential to combating, recovering from, or otherwise alleviating the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees; and any spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old of any such alien who are accompanying or following to join the alien;
- Any alien applying for a visa to enter the United States pursuant to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program;
- Any alien who is the spouse of a United States citizen;
- Any alien who is under 21 years old and is the child of a United States citizen, or who is a prospective adoptee seeking to enter the United States pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications;
- Any alien whose entry would further important United States law enforcement objectives, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees, based on a recommendation of the Attorney General or his designee;
- Any member of the United States Armed Forces and any spouse and children of a member of the United States Armed Forces;
- Any alien seeking to enter the United States pursuant to a Special Immigrant Visa in the SI or SQ classification, subject to such conditions as the Secretary of State may impose, and any spouse and children of any such individual; or
- Any alien whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees.
It is important to note that the Proclamation provides that within 30 days of the date of the Proclamation the Secretary of Labor and the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall review nonimmigrant programs (H-1B, L-1, TN, E-2, O-1, etc.) and make recommendations to the President regarding how to take other measures to stimulate the US economy and ensure the “prioritization, hiring and employment of United States workers.”