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President Issues Executive Order Further Limiting Entry of Lawful Nonimmigrants and Immigrants to the United States

June 23, 2020

President Trump issued a new executive order on June 22, 2020, which suspends the entry of foreign nationals on certain employment-based nonimmigrant visas (H-1B, H-2B, J, and L) into the United States. This executive order takes effect on Wednesday, June 24, 2020, and remains in place through December 31, 2020, subject to modifications and/or continuations as necessary beginning on July 22, 2020, and continuing every 60 days thereafter.

What Employment-Based Visas Are Suspended

Specifically, this executive order suspends the issuance of the following nonimmigrant visas to foreign nationals:

Visa issuance is also suspended for spouses and children under age 21 who plan to accompany family members in these categories.

Who Is Affected

This executive order only applies to the foreign nationals identified above if they are:

Who Is Not Affected

This executive order does NOT apply to foreign nationals already in the United States, or to foreign nationals who already hold a nonimmigrant visa valid as of June 24, 2020, or to asylum seekers.  

Who Is Exempted

Along with lawful permanent residents ("green card holders") and spouses and children of U.S. citizens, individuals seeking entry to provide temporary labor essential to the U.S. food supply chain are exempted from the above-mentioned restrictions.

The executive order also has a "national interest" exemption which would allow Consular Posts to issue visas (subject to standards issued by the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Labor) to those individuals deemed to be in the national interest of the United States including:

COVID-19 Provisions

The executive order requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to provide guidance to the Departments of State and Homeland Security with measures to reduce the risk of those seeking admission to the U.S. from introducing or spreading COVID-19, such as requiring individuals to take a COVID-19 test prior to arriving in the United States.

Additional Measures Imposed by the Order

In addition, the order contains measures related to the following regulatory and/or enforcement actions:

Extension of April 22, 2020, Executive Order Restricting Immigrant Visas

This executive order also extends the April 22, 2020, executive order restricting certain categories of immigrants from entering the United States for 60 days. A summary of this executive order can be found here. Effective immediately, the April 22, 2020, executive order is also extended through December 31, 2020, subject to modifications and/or continuations as necessary pursuant to periodic review.

Employers with foreign nationals affected by this executive order should contact our office immediately. We will continue to monitor and provide updates on the implementation and impact of this executive order.

This is part of a series of our COVID-19 alerts providing clients with practical advice on measures they can take to navigate through these troubled times. Please contact the authors or your Miller Canfield attorney with further questions.

This information is based on the facts and guidance available at the time of publication and may be subject to change.