Following up on Dykema’s alert from June 18, 2020, President Trump signed a Proclamation that extends his April 22, 2020, 60-day ban on immigrant workers entering the United States until December 31, 2020. In addition, it also added those with H-1B, H-2B, L-1 and J-1 visas and any foreign national accompanying them to this ban. The Proclamation states this was done to address, in part, high unemployment levels due to the coronavirus pandemic.

H-1Bs are used to employ foreign nationals in specialty occupations (those positions normally requiring at least a Bachelor’s Degree or its equivalent for entry into the field). H-2Bs are for temporary, non-agricultural workers. L-1s are used to transfer managers/executives or workers with specialized knowledge from a foreign branch to a U.S. branch of the same company (for example, transferring from Microsoft—Japan to Microsoft—U.S.). J-1s are used by au pairs, U.S. training of foreign professionals and some non-U.S. doctors, among others.

While there are many activities allowed under the J-1 visa program, the Proclamation specifically applies to those participating as an intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair or in a summer work travel program.

These restrictions apply only to those foreign nationals in these categories who:

  1. Are outside the United States on the effective date of the proclamation (June 22, 2020);
  2. Do not have a nonimmigrant visa that is valid on June 22, 2020; and
  3. Do not have an official travel document other than a visa (such as a transportation letter, an appropriate boarding foil, or an advance parole document) that is valid on June 22, 2020, or issued on any date thereafter that allows the person to travel to the United States and seek entry or admission.

These restrictions do not apply to:

  1. Lawful permanent residents (“green card” holders);
  2. Spouses and/or children of U.S. citizens;
  3. Workers entering for temporary employment essential to the U.S. food supply chain; and
  4.  Any foreign national whose entry is deemed to be in the U.S. national interest.

As with the April 22, 2020, Proclamation, this would have limited effect on those already in the United States and would have a much greater effect on those seeking green cards or visas to enter the country.

For more information about these and other immigration issues, please contact James Aldrich.

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