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Temporary Suspension of Immigration: What Does It Mean for You?

by | Apr 29, 2020 | Immigration, Immigration News

Trump’s recent late-night tweet about a suspension of immigration added to the anxiety and stress of many. Especially since it was unclear what it actually meant. Now the official proclamation is out, so we can finally dive in and talk about how it’s likely to impact you.

The proclamation became effective on Thursday, April 23, 2020 at 11:59 PM ET. It expires 60 days from its effective date but may be extended as necessary. 

It suspends the entry of any individual seeking to enter the United States as an immigrant who: 

  • is outside the United States on the effective date of the proclamation; 
  • does not have a valid immigrant visa on the effective date; and 
  • does not have a valid official travel document, such as an advance parole document.

The categories exempted from the proclamation include the following: 

  • lawful permanent residents (LPR);
  • individuals and their dependents seeking to enter the United States on an immigrant visa as a physician, nurse, or other healthcare professional to perform medical research or other research to combat the spread of COVID-19; or to perform work essential to combat, recover from, or otherwise alleviate the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak; 
  • individuals applying for an EB-5 immigrant investors visa; and 
  • spouses of U.S. citizens and children of U.S. citizens under the age of 21 and prospective adoptees.

Nonimmigrant visa holders, such as H-1B, L-1, E-2, E-3, TN, O-1, P-1, and others, are not included in the proclamation. 

The proclamation also requires the Secretaries of Labor and DHS, in consultation with the Secretary of State, to review nonimmigrant programs and recommend to the president other appropriate measures to stimulate the U.S. economy and ensure “the prioritization, hiring and employment” of U.S. workers within 30 days of the effective date.

At this time, the short-term effect of this proclamation on immigration and the U.S. economy should be minimal since embassies and consulates abroad are already closed for routine visa processing due to COVID-19. 

However, the proclamation does point towards a long-standing goal of the Trump administration to restrict family-based and diversity lottery visas, which might last well beyond this 60-day period.


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