New Executive Order Restricts Certain Working Visas Through End of Year
Proclaiming to protect the US labor market, on Monday, June 22, 2020, President Trump signed a new executive order restricting entry into the United States of most H-1B (specialty occupation professional), H-2B (non-agricultural temporary worker), J (exchange visitor), and L (intracompany transferee) nonimmigrants and their accompanying family members. The order, which is effective through December 31, 2020, does not apply to individuals who are inside the United States, or to those who are outside of the country and already have valid non-immigrant visas.
Exceptions to the order include current permanent residents, spouses and children of US citizens, workers who are essential to the US food supply chain, non-immigrants whose entry is necessary to facilitate the continued economic recovery of the United States, and workers whose entry into the United States is in the national interest, including health care workers involved in treating or researching COVID-19.
The new policy also extends the President’s order of April 22, 2020, in which he suspended the issuance of immigrant visas (green cards) to overseas applicants. With the exception of spouses and minor children of US citizens, most green card applicants outside the United States will be prohibited from receiving visas through the end of 2020.
Finally, the measure also instructs the government to promulgate new regulations to ensure that H-1B visa holders and certain green card applicants do not disadvantage US workers.
The new policy has been rumored for many weeks and has already elicited strong pushback and opposition from the business community and other industry leaders who fear that it will hinder the country’s economic recovery.
We will update you as additional information becomes available.