President Trump issued a Presidential Proclamation extending the duration of the temporary ban on immigrant work visas through Dec. 31.
The suspension of entry for foreign nationals attempting to enter the U.S. in the visa categories: H-1B (specialty occupation), H-2B (temporary non-agricultural workers), L-1 (intracompany transferees) and J (exchange visitors).
The proclamation – which was issued on June 22 – does not apply to foreign nationals who are already in the United States.
As a result, employers may be able to file extension petitions with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services for foreign employees who are in the U.S. and are in lawful nonimmigrant status.
The proclamation only covers foreign nationals found to have met the following three requirements:
• Were outside the U.S. on June 24, (the effective date of the Presidential proclamation).
• Do not possess a nonimmigrant visa that was still valid on June 24.
• Do not have official travel documents other than a visa (a transportation letter, boarding foil or advance parole document) permitting travel to the U.S. valid on June 24 or issued after that date
The proclamation explicitly exempts from the temporary ban any U.S. lawful permanent resident; any foreign national who is the spouse or child of a U.S. citizen; and any foreign national seeking to enter the U.S. for “temporary labor or services essential to the country’s food supply chain.”
The ban also does not apply to any foreign national whose entry is in the national interest. This is defined as being critical to defense, law enforcement, diplomacy or national security; provide medical care to Covid-19 patients or perform provide Covid-19 medical research; or “to facilitate the immediate and continued economic recovery of the U.S.”