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Blog / July 28, 2020

Immigration, Visas and Green Cards: COVID-Related Changes

Mikayla Walzog


On June 22, 2020, President Trump signed a proclamation further suspending U.S. immigration policies from his original order signed in April 2020. This order suspends the entry of some foreign nationals into the U.S. and is in effect through December 31, 2020. Read on for answers to some of your questions and concerns related to the June 22, 2020 order.

Who is included in this new order? 

First and most importantly, this applies to foreign national workers who are seeking to enter the United States under certain nonimmigrant (temporary) visa categories. This means that if you are inside the United States as of June 24, 2020 and hold valid immigration status then you will not be affected.

If you are outside the United States and are seeking to enter the United States under one of the following nonimmigrant visa categories, this order will apply to you:

  • H-1B or H-2B visa, and any dependent foreign nationals (H-4 visa)
  • J visa, to the extent the individual is entering the country to participate as an intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program, and any dependent foreign nationals
  • L visa, and any dependent foreign nationals (L-2 visa)
  • Dependent foreign nationals mean the spouse and/or children of the primary visa beneficiary (i.e. H-4 spouse and/or children; L-2 spouse/children)
  • Additionally, if the foreign national who is outside of the United States and does not possess a valid nonimmigrant visa (i.e. H-1B) and does not have an official travel document other than a visa that is valid, this will apply to them

Who is exempt from the June 22, 2020 order?

  • Lawful permanent residents (LPR)
  • Spouses of U.S. citizens
  • Foreign nationals seeking entry into the United States to provide temporary labor or services essential to the United States supply chain
  • Aliens whose entry would be in the national interest of the United States (Note: this is contingent upon the discretionary review of U.S. Secretary of State, Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees)

If you’re in the United States on a H, L or J visa, are you impacted? 

No. Applications to extend or change H, L, or J status filed with USCIS are not subject to the order.

Will F-1 students or STEM OPT be impacted?

No.

Are there any exceptions? 

Yes.

  • Professors and scholars will be excluded from the J-1 visa restrictions.
  • Certain medical professionals who are involved with the provision of medical care to individuals who have contracted COVID-19 and are currently hospitalized.
  • Those “necessary to facilitate the immediate and continued economic recovery of the United States”.
  • Canadian citizens, who are exempt from the visa requirement, may fall outside of the scope of this ban and would still be eligible for admission to the United States in the visa categories listed above.
  • No blanket exemption for healthcare workers, however they may be able to qualify under the “national interest” exception.

If you are interested in learning more, we recommend contacting Sid Chary Esq. for more information at sid@charylaw.com or www.charylaw.com

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