Presidential Proclamation (6.24.20)

Summary

The Proclamation takes effect on June 24, 2020 at 12:01 AM ET. It will remain in effect through December 31, 2020 and may be continued or modified as necessary.

This proclamation suspends the entry of foreign nationals on certain employment-based nonimmigrant visas into the United States. This Proclamation also extends, effective immediately, Presidential Proclamation 10014 issued on April 22, 2020 which suspended the entry of certain immigrants into the United States.

Who is Covered?

This is an expansion of the April 22, 2020, executive order barring the issuance of immigrant visas. That order is extended, and a new exemption is created for children aging out who are at risk of not ever getting permanent residency.

It also covers now several non-immigrant visa categories:

The order has been expanded to include a bar on issuing visas in the following non-immigrant categories:

  • H-1B and any dependents accompanying or following to join;
  • H-2B and any dependents accompanying or following to join;
  • J-1s in the following categories (and any dependents accompanying or following to join): au pairs, interns, trainees, teachers, camp counselors, and summer work travel;
  • L-1s and any dependents accompanying or following to join.

The order only applies to people outside the U.S. on the effective date of the Proclamation, those who lack a nonimmigrant visa that is valid on the effective date, and those who lack a travel document.

Exemptions

The order does not apply to the following individuals:

  • Lawful permanent residents;
  • Spouses or children of U.S. citizens;
  • Anyone seeking entry to provide labor essential to the U.S. food supply;
  • Anyone whose entry would be in the national interest.

Regarding national interest exemptions, they include the following:

  • People critical to the defense, law enforcement, diplomacy or national security of the U.S.;
  • People providing medical care to patients who have contracted COVID-19 and are currently hospitalized;
  • People involved in medical research at U.S. facilities helping to fight COVID-19;
  • People “necessary to facilitate the immediate and continued economic recovery of the U.S.”;
  • Any children who would age out of eligibility for a visa because of this proclamation.

Consular officers will make determinations of applicability of the ban and eligibility for an exemption.

People who seek to circumvent the Proclamation through fraud, willful misrepresentation or illegal entry will be subject to removal.

Individuals will not be able to apply for a visa or admission to the United States until they have completed biometrics, including photographs, signatures, and fingerprints.

The order goes on to promise new regulations seeking to ensure EB-2 and EB-3 immigrants and H-1Bs do not limit opportunities for U.S. workers.

The Department of Labor will undertake investigations of H-1B Labor Condition Application violations.

DHS may issue rules relating to the allocation of H-1B visas to priority the highest paid H-1Bs.

Asylum seekers are not included in the ban. The Proclamation states that it does not limit the ability of individuals to apply for asylum, refugee status, withholding of removal or protection under the Convention Against Torture. 

The Secretary of Health and Human Services will provide guidance to the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security concerning measures that will reduce the risk of those seeking admission to the United States introducing or spreading COVID-19 within the country. Most likely this means that individuals will be subject to a COVID-19 test before arrival.

Key Points

  • The executive order does NOT apply to anyone who is in the United States as of the effective date of the order, which is 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on June 24, 2020.
  • The order does NOT apply to anyone who has a valid nonimmigrant visa as of the effective date.
  • The order does NOT apply to anyone who has “…an official travel document other than a visa (such as a transportation letter, an appropriate boarding foil, or an advance parole document) that is valid on the effective date of this proclamation or issued on any date thereafter that permits him or her to travel to the United States and seek entry or admission.”
  • This executive order is scheduled to remain in place through December 31, 2020, and may be extended beyond that date.

For more information, see https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspending-entry-aliens-present-risk-u-s-labor-market-following-coronavirus-outbreak/.