President Trump Extends Duration of Visa Category Bans to March 31, 2021

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Donald Trump extended two directives restricting the admission of certain immigrants  and nonimmigrants to the U.S.  Specifically,  Presidential Proclamation (PP) 10014  restricting the admission of first-time immigrants  and PP 10052 restricting  the admission certain H, J and L temporary workers,  were set to expire on December 31, 2020 but have now been extended to March 31, 2021.  There are exemptions to both of these “visa category”  bans, and both are also the subject of legal challenges.  Despite the extension of the bans until March 31, 2021, President-elect Joseph Biden is expected to review all Trump Administration immigration actions upon taking office on January 20, 2021, and may terminate the bans at any time.

BACKGROUND

The immigrant visa ban/PP 10014 was initially implemented in April 2020 and suspends the entry of select classes of immigrants currently outside the U.S. seeking to enter the U.S. as permanent residents with a new immigrant visa.  Additional information about who is covered and who is exempted from the immigrant visa ban is available here.

The nonimmigrant visa ban/PP 10052 was initially implemented in June 2020 and suspends the admission of certain H, J and L temporary workers. Subsequent to implementation, both the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Customs and Border Protection clarified the scope of the nonimmigrant visa ban, and the Department of State outlined National Interest Exemptions to both bans.  Additionally, in October 2020, a federal district court blocked enforcement of  the nonimmigrant visa ban, finding that the directive exceeded the President’s authority and unlawfully invalidated significant portions of the Immigration and Nationality Act.  The impact of the ruling is currently limited to the plaintiffs who filed suit and the members of their respective organizations.  Plaintiffs include the National Association of Manufacturers, the Chamber of Commerce of the United States, the National Retail Federation, and others.

Notably, the coronavirus-related  “regional travel bans” restricting the admission of travelers from the European Schengen Areathe United Kingdom and IrelandChinaIran, and Brazil will remain in place until affirmatively terminated by the President. The land border restrictions at the U.S., Canadian and Mexican borders will remain in place until at least January 21, 2021.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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