A Presidential Proclamation was issued June 22, 2020, that extends the suspension on some immigrant visa entries and also suspends new entries for some individuals seeking L-1, H-1B, H-2B, or J-1 nonimmigrant work visas. The proclamation goes into effect at midnight (Eastern Time) on June 24, 2020 and will last through December 31, 2020.
The effect of this proclamation on nonimmigrants is that some people who are outside the U.S. waiting for an L-1, H-1B, H-2B, or J-1 work visa may not be able to enter the U.S. through the end of 2020.
For people seeking an immigrant visa, this proclamation extends the prior proclamation of April 22, 2020 that suspended entry of certain immigrant visa holders through December 31, 2020.
The following provides a detailed summary of both the nonimmigrant work visa suspension and the immigrant visa entry extension.
Nonimmigrant Work Visa Entry Suspensions
Visas Included: The proclamation suspends entries for the following nonimmigrants:
Scope: The suspension of entry only applies if all of the following are true for the individual wanting to enter the U.S. on one of the above-referenced visas:
This means that individuals who already have a valid nonimmigrant work visa can continue to use that visa. It also means that some Canadians, who are visa exempt, may be able to travel into the U.S. with an I-797 issued after June 24, 2020. However, individuals who do not already have their H-1B, H-2B, L-1, or the applicable J-1 visas before June 24, 2020 will not be able to enter the U.S. on those visas for the rest of 2020 unless they fall into an exception.
Exceptions: The entry ban does not apply to the following individuals:
The consular office will have the discretion to decide whether one of the four exceptions applies to that person. While the relevant government agencies will be developing standards for determining the national interest exception, the proclamation gives clear instruction that those people involved in medical care or medical research for COVID-19 should be considered as being in the national interest.
Extension of Immigrant Visa Entry Suspension
The continuing suspension of immigrant visa entries applies to individuals who:
However, the following individuals are specifically exempted from the extended suspension:
Those impacted by this part of the extended suspension may include: spouses and children of legal permanent residents; siblings and parents of U.S. citizens; individuals eligible for immigrant visas based on religious worker status; and individuals who are eligible for an immigrant visa based on employment in the U.S.
Q: How long will these suspensions last?
A: The suspension on entries is through December 31, 2020. It is possible that the suspensions could be renewed for a further period of time.
Q: Does this suspension apply to me if I already have a nonimmigrant visa, such as an F-1, H-1B or B1/B2?
A: No. This proclamation does not include individuals who already have a valid nonimmigrant visa. At the moment, individuals who have a nonimmigrant visa may not be able to enter the U.S. due to specific coronavirus-related travel restrictions.
Q: Does this impact individuals applying for a green card through adjustment from inside the U.S.?
A: No. The immigrant visa suspension applies only to those people seeking immigrant visas who were outside the United States on April 23, 2020. At this time, USCIS is still accepting and processing adjustment of status applications from eligible individuals within the U.S.
Q: Does this apply to me if I have an I-130 Petition pending for a family member?
A: No. This proclamation does not impact USCIS’s ability to accept and process I-130 Petitions.