President Trump Issues Executive Order Restricting Entry to the US on Certain Nonimmigrant Visas

On June 22, 2020, President Trump signed an Executive Order suspending entry to the United States pursuant to certain H-1B, H-2B, J, L-1, and related dependent Visas, through December 31, 2020.  The Executive Order also continues the prior Executive Order, issued April 22, 2020, suspending the issuance of new green cards for entry to the United States from abroad through December 31, 2020. 

The new suspension applies to individuals seeking to enter in H-1B, H-2B, J, L-1, or related dependent status, who:

  • are outside the United States on the effective date of the Order;
  • do not have a nonimmigrant Visa that is valid on the effective date of the Order; and;
  • do not have an official travel document other than a Visa (such as an Advance Parole document).

The limitation on entry does not apply to individuals who were Lawful Permanent Residents as of the date of the proclamation (in other words, individuals who already hold green cards), to spouses or dependent children of United States citizens, to individuals seeking to enter the United States to provide temporary labor or services essential to the United States food supply chain, or to any other individual whose entry is deemed to be in the national interest (such as law enforcement or health care workers).

The Executive Order further directs the Secretary of Labor to consider regulations to ensure that individuals who have already been admitted to the United States pursuant to both EB-2/EB-3 immigrant Visas and H-1B nonimmigrant Visas do not disadvantage US workers, and directs the Secretary of Homeland Security to consider regulations changing the allocation of H-1B Visas to ensure US workers are not disadvantaged.

In issuing the Executive Order, President Trump noted that the national unemployment rate nearly quadrupled between February and May of 2020.  He stated that without intervention, the United States faces a lengthy economic recovery with continued high unemployment.  He noted that American workers compete with foreign nationals for jobs in every sector of the economy and that workers within these nonimmigrant categories pose a risk of displacing and disadvantaging US workers during the current recovery.  He cited particularly high unemployment rates among young adults and historically disadvantaged groups including African Americans and other minorities, as well as those without a college degree.

The Order allows for modification within 30 days of the effective date, and every 60 days thereafter, suggesting that additional limitations may be implemented in the future.

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Author: Kristin A. Crone

This article has been prepared for general information purposes and (1) does not create or constitute an attorney-client relationship, (2) is not intended as a solicitation, (3) is not intended to convey or constitute legal advice, and (4) is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney. Always seek professional counsel prior to taking action.

Kristin A. Crone

Kristin A. Crone


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