April 27, 2020
By Laurie J. Woog
Executive Order Suspending Entry of Certain Immigrants.
President Trump signed an executive order that became effective for 60 days starting April 23. Within 50 days, the Departments of Homeland Security and Labor may recommend whether the administration should continue the order. Moreover, within 30 days, the administration will review whether nonimmigrant programs (temporary visas) should be added to the restrictions of the order.
Let’s see who it affects and who it does not.
The order prevents the entry of any individual seeking to enter as an immigrant (legal permanent resident) who is not in the U.S. on the effective date; does not have a valid immigrant visa on that date; and does not have another valid official travel document.
Exceptions to the order – people who are still allowed to obtain an immigrant visa or status – include:
- Those applying or who will apply for adjustment of status in the U.S.;
- Legal permanent residents;
- Nonimmigrants (temporary visa holders and applicants; though this will be revisited within 30 days, which could have broad effects for employers of H-1b and L-1 workers, among others);
- Doctors, nurses and health care workers doing essential work as determined by State and DHS;
- Immigrant investors (EB5);
- Spouses and children of US citizens and prospective adoptees (this means spouses and children of green card holders are NOT exempted from the order);
- Individuals whose entry would be in the national interest; and
- Asylum seekers. (Much of the processing along the southern border, and immigration court hearings in the U.S., have already been slowed or suspended.)
The upshot: Consular officers will determine if someone is within an exempted category. For all practical purposes right now, the order may not have an enormous effect for U.S. employers, for several reasons.
- Embassies and consulates are not currently processing most visa applications anyway due to the pandemic.
- Employers often are sponsoring workers who are currently in the U.S. and do not plan to consular process.
- Nonimmigrants are currently exempted.
If you are unsure whether you have an employee or family member in the U.S. or abroad whose entry or case is impacted by the order, please contact Mandelbaum Barrett PC to speak to our immigration department.