Understanding How Our Clients Will Be Impacted by the Latest Presidential Proclamation Regarding Immigration
On June 22, 2020, a new Presidential Proclamation was issued which expands immigration restrictions in the wake of the current pandemic. This proclamation is officially titled, “Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak”. Although this proclamation will impact certain types of business and employment immigration paths, these measures are only temporary and there are still many options available.
The earlier proclamation, signed on April 22, 2020, “Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak”, was mainly focused on limiting certain permanent immigration visas, also known as green card applicants. It only applied to those that were not already in the U.S. and had not already obtained a visa as of the effective date. It did not impact any nonimmigrant visa types.
The measure was initially set to expire 60 days after the issue. However, the new proclamation has extended this to December 31, 2020, and expanded the parameters. You can read more about the original action here.
Detail on New Proclamation
The new proclamation expands the prior restrictions to mainly nonimmigrant, temporary worker visas. This includes H1-B, H2-B, L category, and J category visas. These new measures went into effect on June 24, 2020. Although the expiration date is set for the end of the year, details of the proclamation are expected to be frequently reviewed as the economy and labor market continue to change.
Like the last proclamation, this new measure only applies to those currently outside of the U.S. that do not already have a visa issued prior to the effective date and do not have another type of official travel document. It is important to note that most applicants who are impacted were already unable to enter the U.S. due to the ongoing closure of the U.S. Consulates and Embassies.
There are, of course, exceptions. Specifically, individuals that will provide law enforcement or other national defense, medical care to hospitalized coronavirus patients, medical research relating to COVID-19, or those that are “necessary to facilitate the immediate and continued economic recovery of the United States” are still permitted. Other exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Secretaries of State, Labor, and Homeland Security
How This Will Impact Our Clients
Current L1 Business Plan clients will most likely be unable to submit their application until after December 31, 2020, or until the proclamation is lifted. Despite the delay, it is still advantageous to continue the process to be prepared for when restrictions are lifted. Even though a 1st draft L1 business plan is prepared in 7-10 business days, preparing and gathering all the documents necessary for the whole application could take, for most companies, 3-6 months. We always encourage clients to take their time to prepare and not rush. For L1 business plans specifically, we offer unlimited revisions, so we can prepare the plan now and quickly amend for any necessary changes when the application is ready to be sent.
There are alternative paths to immigration that have not been impacted. These include the E2 (when consulates/embassies reopen), EB-2 NIW, EB-5, and a few others. If you were planning on emigrating under one of the impacted categories and want to explore alternative options, you should consult an immigration attorney. Available options will vary based on specific geography and circumstances.