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Executive Order suspends entry for certain temporary worker visas

On June 22, President Trump signed an Executive Order that suspends entry of non-immigrant visas holders in the following categories: H-1B, H-2B, H-4, L-1, L-2, and certain J-1 exchange visitors.  This Executive Order will go into effect on June 24 and will expire December 31. The Executive Order only affects foreign nationals who are currently outside the United States applying for non-immigrant visas at U.S. consular posts. 

Notably, the Executive Order does not impact sponsored workers who are currently in the United States in valid non-immigrant status. These sponsored workers are still eligible to extend their non-immigrant status, file a PERM labor certification application or I-140 immigrant petition, and apply for adjustment of status within the United States.  Additionally, the Executive Order does not apply to foreign nationals who possess valid official travel documents (such as an advance parole travel document) or valid non-immigrant visas in their passports.  These sponsored workers may use their existing visa stamps or travel documents to enter the United States.  Please note, however, that travel restrictions have been implemented globally as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which may make it difficult for foreign nationals to schedule travel to enter the United States.  

For foreign nationals who are currently outside the United States and do not possess a valid visa stamp or travel document, the Executive Order carves out certain exceptions.  Exceptions may be made for individuals who will provide labor that is essential to the United States food supply chain or whose entry would be in the national interest.  Given the current need for healthcare providers, the U.S. Department of State will continue to process non-immigrant visa applications for physicians, nurses, or other allied healthcare professionals to perform medical research or work essential to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Please note that the current situation is very fluid and subject to change at any time.  Specifically, the Executive Order indicates that within 30 days, and every 60 days thereafter, the Trump Administration may recommend modifications. We are closely monitoring COVID-19 immigration-related issues and will provide further updates as they are available.


Nora Katz
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Vinh Duong
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