President Trump signed a new Presidential Proclamation on June 22, 2020 barring the entry of certain work visa holders from entering the United States. The Proclamation is effective at midnight EDT June 24, 2020, and will continue through December 31, 2020.
The Proclamation suspends issuance of visas for individuals seeking entry to the U.S. using an H-1B, H-2B, J-1 (intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair or summer work travel participant) or L-1 visa. The Proclamation also suspends entry for dependent spouses and family members in these visa categories.
Further, the Proclamation only applies to individuals if they are:
- Outside the U.S. on the effective date of the Proclamation (June 24, 2020);
- Do not possess a non-immigrant visa that is valid on the effective date of the Proclamation; and
- Do not have an official travel document other than a visa that is valid on the effective date of the Proclamation.
There are two major exemptions to the suspension: individuals providing temporary labor essential to the U.S. food supply chain; or individuals whose entry is in the national interest as determined by the U.S. Secretary of State, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security or their designees.
Any modifications to the Proclamation will be considered within 30 days of June 24, 2020, and every 60 days thereafter.
Further, the Proclamation directs U.S. federal agencies to undertake the following actions:
- Issue regulations to ensure that those individuals already admitted, or seeking admission, on an EB-2 immigrant visa, EB-3 immigrant visa, or H-1B nonimmigrant visa do not limit the opportunity for U.S. workers.
- Undertake investigations of H-1 Labor Condition Application (LCA) violations.
- Change the process of allocating visas and ensuring that the presence of H-1B workers in the U.S. does not negatively affect U.S. workers, such as giving priority to certain individuals based on certain criteria.
- Ensure that an individual cannot apply for a visa or admission to the U.S. until after completing biometrics, including photographs, signatures, and fingerprints; and
- Prevent certain individuals who have been ordered removed from the U.S., who are removable from the U.S. or have been arrested for, charged with or convicted of a criminal offense, from being able to work in the U.S.
Finally, the Proclamation extends the April 22, 2020 Proclamation banning entry of certain individuals applying for immigrant visas through December 31, 2020.