As published in the Immigration Daily on June 23, 2020
The Trump proclamation is out and takes effect at 12:01 on June 24, 2020, which means one minute after the witching hour tonight. If you are in the US before that, you are mainly immune from the order – if you are outside, you may be affected by the order.
- This goes hand-in-hand with the order for the bar on immigrant visas, and so for both immigrant and nonimmigrant visas, the bar to entry is now through December 31, 2020. The language extending the immigrant bar and the new nonimmigrant bar has another kicker in saying that it may be continued as necessary after the expiration on December 31, 2020. It follows with the language that within 30 days of June 24, 2020, and every 60 days thereafter while the proclamation is in effect, The Sec. of Homeland Security shall in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Sec. of Labor recommend any modifications as may be necessary.
- Nonimmigrant visa entries are suspended for H-1B or H-2Bs and their dependents, J-1 interns, trainees, teachers, counselors, au pairs, or summer work travel program people and their dependents, L visa entrants and their dependents. Previously it had been thought that au pairs would be exempt from the bar.
- The bar applies only to people who are outside the United States on the effective date of the proclamation. It does not apply to individuals outside the US who have a valid visa by June 23, 2020. It also does not apply to those who have an official travel document other than a visa such as a transportation letter, or advance parole valid on June 23, 2020, or issued on any date thereafter permitting travel to the US.
- Exceptions are for LPR’s (although one would wonder why an LPR would be trying to come in on a nonimmigrant visa), spouses or children of US citizens, someone providing temporary labor or services essential to the United States food supply chain, and anyone whose entry would be in the national interest as determined by the Secretary of State, DHS Sec., or their respective designees. For purposes of determining any of the exceptions, it will be up to the consular officer to determine in his or her discretion whether a nonimmigrant has established eligibility.
- For purposes of determining whether a national interest applies, State, Labor, and Homeland Security Secretaries are to establish standards to define categories including those that are critical to defense, law enforcement, diplomacy, or national security; are involved with the provision of medical care to people who have contracted Covid-19 and are currently hospitalized; are involved with providing medical research at US facilities to help the US combat Covid-19; or are necessary to facilitate the immediate and continued economic recovery of the United States.
- [This last criterion could open up the possibility of bringing in a hotshot L-1 boss or entrepreneur].
- From a look at the outlined sample categories, it is questionable whether many individuals with unrelated approved EB-2 NIW cases could qualify for an exception, e.g an NIW for establishing reading programs for special needs children.
- The proclamation will also make people applying for a visa go through more scrutiny as they will now have to be registered with biographical and biometric information, including but not limited to photographs, signatures and fingerprints.
- The proclamation intends to dampen enthusiasm further for those applying for H-1B’s and EB-2/EB-3 immigrant visas as it directs the Sec. of Labor in consultation with the Sec. of Homeland Security as soon as practicable and consistent with applicable law to consider promulgating regulations or take other appropriate actions to ensure that the presence of aliens who have been admitted or otherwise provided the benefit or who are seeking admission or benefit does not disadvantage US workers, which will likely mean making employers pay not just prevailing wages, but more for the privilege of sponsoring aliens and more checks and investigations into labor certifications and LCA’s.
- The proclamation also charges the DHS Sec. with taking appropriate and necessary steps to prevent aliens with final orders of removal; who are inadmissible or deportable from the United States; or who have been arrested for or charged with or convicted of a criminal offense in the US from obtaining eligibility to work in the US. Among others, such a regulation would affect persons under orders of supervision; possibly those who have conceded deportability at a master calendar hearing; and anyone who has been arrested for or charged for even disorderly conduct.