June 22 Presidential Proclamation Analysis
Updated: Oct 14, 2020
On June 22, President Trump issued a new Presidential Proclamation – titled the “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak.” The new restrictions go into effect on June 24, 2020 and will continue through at least December 31, 2020 with the possibility of extension.
What Visa Categories are Affected by the Proclamation?
The Proclamation prevents issuance of new visas in the following categories:
H-1B and any foreign national accompanying or following to join them.
H-2B and any foreign national accompanying or following to join them.
J visas for the categories of intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program, and any foreign national accompanying or following to join them.
L visa and any foreign national accompanying or following to join them.
The Proclamation applies only to individuals who…
were outside of the United States on the effective date;
do not have a non-immigrant visa that is valid on the date of the proclamation, AND
do not have an official travel document other than a visa (such as a transportation letter, boarding foil, or advance parole document).
The new proclamation also extends the April 22 Proclamation suspending visa issuance and entry for certain immigrant visa classes until December 31, 2020.
Are There Any Exemptions to the Presidential Proclamation?
The following categories are exempted from the Proclamation:
Lawful permanent residents
Spouses and children of U.S. citizens
Individuals seeking entry to provide temporary labor essential to the U.S. food supply chain
Any individual whose entry would be in the national interest.
What Does “The National Interest Mean?”
For purposes of this Proclamation, the National Interest is defined as individuals who…
are critical to the defense, law enforcement, diplomacy, or national security of the United States;
are involved with the provision of medical care to individuals who have contracted COVID-19 and are currently hospitalized;
are involved with the provision of medical research at U.S. facilities to help the United States combat COVID-19;
are necessary to facilitate the immediate and continued economic recovery of the United States; or
are children who would age out of eligibility for a visa because of this proclamation or Proclamation 10014.
Consular officers at U.S. Embassies and Consulate are given the authority to determine who falls into one of these exemptions.
Will President Trump Further Limit Legal Immigration?
The Proclamation also directs the relevant U.S. government agencies to issue regulations that could affect the status or impose additional requirements for individuals currently in the United States on EB-2, EB-3 and H-1B visas. This could include new rules that would prioritize H-1B visas for the highest paid workers. The Proclamation also suggests that new rules could affect biometric requirements for visa applications. They could also prevent work authorizations for some individuals who are deportable or who have been arrested for or charged with crimes.
Summary and Conclusions
The new Proclamation is highly restrictive and exceeds what many in the immigration and business communities anticipated. The limitations on H-1B visas will significantly disrupt the tech sector in the short-term and the restrictions on L visas will impact international businesses who rely on these visas to move managers and specialized knowledge workers to their U.S. operations.
As many expected, the Proclamation does not affect E visas, which will come as a relief to certain companies and individuals who benefit from certain trade agreements.
Without significant refinement, the Proclamation will likely have the unintended consequences of increasing the reliance on remote work (increasing the outsourcing and offshoring of jobs); the relocation of investment and high-tech talent to countries with friendlier immigration policies; and to companies and individuals pushing the boundaries of what is allowed on B-1 business visas.
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