On June 22, 2020, President Trump issued an executive order that bans certain nonimmigrants from entering the United States (the “Nonimmigrant Ban”) until December 31, 2020. The Nonimmigrant Ban comes on the heels of an April 2020 executive order preventing certain foreign nationals from receiving an immigrant visa (the “Immigrant Ban”). A summary of the Immigrant Ban can be found here.
The Nonimmigrant Ban applies to nonimmigrants who are attempting to enter the U.S. temporarily to work. Here are the top five things employers, workers and foreign investors need to know about the Nonimmigrant Ban:
- The Nonimmigrant Ban extends the Immigrant Ban until December 31, 2020.
- The Nonimmigrant Ban prevents foreign nationals in the following nonimmigrant categories from seeking entry into the US:
- H-1B (workers in specialty occupations)
- H-2B (temporary non-agricultural workers)
- J (exchange visitors)
- L (intra-company transferees serving in a managerial, executive or specialized knowledge capacity for a multi-national company)
- The Nonimmigrant Ban applies only to foreign nationals who:
- Are outside the U.S. on the effective date, June 24, 2020
- Do not have a nonimmigrant visa or travel document that is valid on June 24, 2020
- The following foreign nationals are exempt from the Nonimmigrant Ban:
- Lawful permanent residents
- Spouse or child of a U.S. citizen
- Any foreign national seeking to provide temporary labor or services essential to the U.S. food supply chain
- Any foreign national whose entry would be in the national interest
- Application process for exemptions: The U.S. consulate officers will decide if a foreign national qualifies for one of the exemptions listed in point 4 above.
Foreign nationals can continue to apply for, and enter with, E visas for investors, TN visas for Canadian and Mexican nationals working in industries identified in international treaties, and O visas for those with extraordinary ability. Foreign nationals who are not in the U.S. but are planning to enter with an L or H-1B visa should continue to work with their immigration counsel to identify actions they can take right now to ensure they can enter once the Nonimmigrant Ban expires.
Foreign nationals in any nonimmigrant category should discuss their travel plans with immigration counsel to ensure compliance with laws that are rapidly changing due to executive orders and pandemic-related travel restrictions.