Trump Administration Suspends Admission of New H-1B, L-1 and J-1s

As anticipated, the Trump Administration released a Presidential Proclamation today temporarily suspending new H-1B, H-2B, L-1 and J-1 visa applicants from entering the U.S. The key points of the Proclamation are summarized below, and we will provide further analysis and schedule a webinar for our clients on this important topic shortly:

  • The suspension on admission does not apply to persons who are physically in the U.S., or who are outside the U.S. but already have a valid H-1B, H-2B, L-1 or J-1 visa. A person who already has a visa in one of these classifications should still be allowed to enter the U.S., assuming they are not subject to one of the Trump Administration’s other travel bans.

  • The suspension applies to dependent family members as well as principal visa holders. A dependent family member who does not have a visa, will not be able to enter the country to join a family member in H-1B, H-2B, L-1 or J-1 status.

  • The following persons are exempt from the suspension:

  • Spouses and children of U.S. citizens.

  • Persons seeking to enter the U.S. to provide temporary labor or services essential to the U.S. food supply chain; and

  • Persons whose admission would be deemed to be in the national interest as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees.

  • The Proclamation instructs the Department of Labor and the Department of Homeland Security to “consider promulgating” new regulations or taking other appropriate action to ensure that the employer sponsored green card process, and H-1B program do not adversely affect U.S. workers.

  • The Proclamation will take effect 12:01 AM on Wednesday, June 24th, and will last through the rest of the calendar year, until December 31, 2020. It may be modified, or extended as deemed appropriate by the Trump Administration.

What this Means for Our Clients and their Foreign National Employees We strongly recommend that employees who are in the U.S. holding H-1B, L-1 or J-1 status contact our office before making international travel plans. Persons in one of these statuses who do not have a valid visa will not be allowed to reenter the country if they leave, unless one of the exceptions listed in the Proclamation applies. The suspension will not impact H-1B change of employer or extension petitions for persons in the U.S. who are in valid status. Until the suspension is lifted, new L-1 multinational transferees abroad will not be allowed to enter the U.S. unless they already have a valid L-1 visa. We will reach out to clients individually to discuss appropriate contingency planning. U.S. employees working in L-1, H-1 or J-1 status who have been prevented from returning to the U.S. due to the COVID-19 crisis, and who do not already have valid visas, may not be able to return until the suspension is lifted at the end of this calendar year, even if the U.S. consulates abroad resume visa processing, and the COVID-19 travel bans are lifted. We have been made aware of most employees in this situation, and will reach out to clients to discuss individually. The suspension will not impact the vast majority of H-1B cap petitions. Persons in F-1 or other nonimmigrant statuses who have a cap petition filed as a change of status, and who stay in the U.S., should still have their status changed to H-1B on October 1st. We will reach out individually on cap cases that may be impacted by this Proclamation.

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