On December 31, 2020, the President signed a Presidential Proclamation on Suspension of Entry of Immigrants and Nonimmigrants Who Continue to Present a Risk to the United States Labor Market. This proclamation extends Presidential Proclamations (P.P.) 10014 and 10052 through March 31, 2021. P.P.  10014 suspends the entry to the United States of certain immigrant visa applicants, while P.P. 10052 suspends the entry to the United States of certain nonimmigrant visa applicants who present a risk to the U.S. labor market during the economic recovery following the novel coronavirus outbreak. Specifically, the suspension in P.P. 10052 applies to applicants for H-1B, H2B, and L-1 visas; J-1 visa applicants participating in the intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel programs; and any spouses or children of covered applicants applying for H-4, L-2, or J-2 visas.

Extension of Nonimmigrant Visa Ban

Effective as of June 24, 2020, President Trump’s Proclamation 10052 suspended the entry to the U.S. of foreign nationals (with limited exceptions) holding H-1B, H-2B, J-1 and L-1 status, including dependent family members.  Originally set to expire on December 31, 2020, that same day, the President extended the Proclamation until March 31, 2021, thereby continuing restriction of travel to the U.S. and issuance of certain nonimmigrant visas.

There are limited exceptions which allow entry for H-1B/H-4, H-2B/H-4, J-1/J-2, and L-1/L-4 visa holders, including (1) individuals who held a valid visa stamp in their passport, but were outside of the U.S. on the effective date of the proclamation, and (2) individuals who possess an official travel document other than a visa (e.g., a transportation letter, an appropriate boarding foil, or an advance parole document) that was valid on the effective date of the Proclamation or issued on any date thereafter that permits him or her to travel to the United States and seek entry or admission.

Additional exceptions apply to: (3) any lawful permanent resident of the U.S., spouses or children (under the age of 21) of a U.S. citizen, (4) a foreign national that will provide temporary labor or services essential to the U.S. food supply chain, and (5) a foreign national whose entry would be in the national interest as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees.  Factors to determine whether entry is in the “national interest” include individuals who are critical to the defense, law enforcement, diplomacy, or national security, are involved with the provision of COVID-19 medical care, are involved with COVID-19 medical research, or are necessary to facilitate the immediate and continued economic recovery of the United States.

This proclamation is now in effect through March 31, 2021.

Extension of Immigrant Visa Ban

As detailed in our earlier blog post in April 2020, Proclamation 10014 suspended the entry of all intending immigrants (those seeking to enter the U.S. as a new Permanent Resident) who were outside the U.S. as of Thursday April 23, 2020, who did not already have a valid immigrant visa or a valid travel documents on that date or any date after that allows for travel to the U.S. to seek admission.

Exceptions to the prohibition to entry include (1) Permanent Residents, or green card holders, who live outside the U.S., (2) spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 of U.S. citizens and (3) foreign nationals, their spouses, and their children under the age of 21 applying for EB-5 Immigrant Investor visas.

Additional exemptions include (4) foreign nationals (their immediate family members) who seek to become permanent residents and work as physicians, nurses, or other healthcare professionals, perform medical research or other research to combat the spread of COVID-19, or perform work “essential to combating, recovering from, or otherwise alleviating the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak”.

This proclamation is now in effect through March 31, 2021.

For additional information on the extensions of P. P. 10052 and P.P. 10014 please see the Department of State’s webpage on the Extension of Presidential Proclamations 10014 and 10052.