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Summary Of Executive Order Suspending Entry Of Immigrants Into The U.S.

on Thursday, 23 April 2020 in Covid-19 Information Hub

Late Wednesday, April 22, 2020, the President issued an Executive Order impacting a narrow band of immigration into the United States. Effective April 24, 2020, entry into the U.S. will be temporarily suspended for individuals seeking to enter as an immigrant who:

  • is outside of the United States;
  • does not have a valid immigrant visa; and
  • does not have a valid travel document (such as advance parole). 

However, the impact of the “green card ban” was greatly lessened by a series of exemptions, which include:

  1. Lawful permanent residents;
  2. Individuals (and their spouses or children) seeking to enter on an immigrant visa as a physician, nurse, or healthcare professional to perform COVID19 essential work, as determined by the Department of Homeland Security;
  3. Individuals applying for a visa under the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program;
  4. Spouses of U.S. citizens;
  5. Children of U.S. citizens under the age of 21 and prospective adoptees;
  6. Individuals who would further important U.S. law enforcement objectives, as determined by DHS;
  7. Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their spouses and children;
  8. Individuals (and their spouses or children) eligible for Special Immigrant Visas as an Afghan or Iraqi translator/interpreter or U.S. government employee; and
  9. Individuals whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by DHS.

Nonimmigrant visa holders, such as H-1B, H-2A/B, TN, or L visas nonimmigrants, and asylum seekers are not included in the ban. However, within 30 days of the effective date, the Secretaries of Labor, State, and Homeland Security will review all nonimmigrant programs to ensure the prioritization, hiring and employment of U.S. workers is protected.

The suspension expires 60 days from its effective date but may be continued as necessary; and, within 50 days of the effective date, DHS is tasked to recommend whether the suspension should continue or be modified.

In all, the suspension impacts a fairly small group of individuals, most of whom were already unable to enter the U.S. either due to travel bans, lockdowns/shelter-in-place orders in their home country, and/or the closure of the U.S. consulates of most visa services. No individual present in the United State should be impacted nor should any pending application or petition be affected by the Executive Order; however, if you have any concerns about a specific situations, please contact Amy Erlbacher-Anderson or Kara E. Stockdale.

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