President Trump Issues New Proclamation Placing Additional Restrictions on Certain Foreign Workers’ Entry to U.S.

The Presidential Proclamation titled “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak” that has just been issued today imposes additional restrictions on the entry of certain foreign nationals into the United States, effective immediately.  We previously noted in our Alert on June 9th that some foreign workers may be restricted from entering the U.S. pursuant to a Presidential Proclamation by President Trump.

Restrictions on Foreign Workers Outside the United States Without Valid Visa Stamps

The additional restrictions will prohibit certain foreign workers that are abroad without valid visa stamps in their passports from entering the U.S. until December 31, 2020.  The President has directed the Security of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Labor to recommend any modifications to the Presidential Proclamation within 30 days of the effective date of the Proclamation and then every 60 days thereafter.

While this Proclamation does not prohibit the entry into the U.S. of foreign workers (and dependent family members) that currently have valid visas in their passports, such foreign nationals are still subject to the various “travel bans” due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  In addition, it is important to note that the petition and application process in the U.S. will not be impacted, thereby allowing extensions and/or changes of status to be secured for H-1B, L-1, J-1 and other eligible nonimmigrant visa classifications.  U.S. permanent resident filings within the United States also have not been directly impacted by this Proclamation.

Which Foreign Workers Are Impacted by the President’s Proclamation?

Foreign workers that do not hold valid visa stamps in their passports and seek to enter the U.S. pursuant to H-1B (and dependent family members), H-2B (and dependent family members), J-1 (intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair or summer work travel program) (and dependent family members), and L-1 (and dependent family members) with limited exceptions. The limited exceptions may include the following: foreign national who is the spouse or child of a United States citizen; foreign worker whose entry into the U.S. would be in the national interest as determined by the Secretary of State, Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees; any foreign worker seeking to enter the U.S. to provide temporary labor or services essential to the United States food supply chain; and any lawful permanent resident of the United States.

Which Foreign Nationals Are Not Impacted by the President’s Proclamation?

  • Foreign workers (and accompanying dependent family members) that seek admission into the United States in visa classifications other than H-1B, H-2B, J-1 and L-1 such as E-1, E-2, E-3, O-1, P, TN (Canadian and Mexican).
  • Also not impacted directly by the Presidential Proclamation are J-1 categories including college and university student, physician, professor, research scholar, secondary school student, short-term scholar, and specialist.
  • Foreign workers, including those in H-1B, H-2B, J-1 and L-1 status and their dependent family members may still continue to seek extensions of status and/or applications to change status in the United States through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  • The filing and processing of U.S. permanent resident applications (i.e. Application to Adjust Status) have not been impacted by this Proclamation; USCIS may continue to process such applications filed by foreign workers in the U.S.
  • While news reports had mentioned a possible impact on foreign workers that have H-4 EAD cards, the H-4 EAD work authorization was not specifically affected by the Proclamation although such H-4 workers without a valid visa will be prohibited from entering the U.S.

Again, it is important to note that such individuals are still subject to the restrictions based on the various COVID-19 “travel bans” and restrictions placed on the visa application process due to the closures of U.S. consular posts.

Please contact your Maggio Kattar attorney with any questions.