April 23, 2020

Trump’s Proclamation to Temporarily Suspend Immigration into the United States – What You Should Know NOW

The much anticipated Proclamation on immigration was just signed – Here’s what we know NOW.

The order suspends the issuance of immigrant visas (green cards) for 60 days effective at 11:59 p.m. eastern daylight time on April 23, 2020 ONLY for those immigrant applicants who:

(i) are outside the United States;

(ii) do not have an immigrant visa that is valid on April 23, 2020; and

(iii) do not have an official travel document other than a visa (such as a transportation letter, an appropriate boarding foil, or an advance parole document) that is valid on April 23, 2020 or issued on any date thereafter that permits him or her to travel to the United States and seek entry or admission.

This means I-485 adjustment of status applicants in the U.S. are NOT affected by the suspension. These applications will continue to process as usual.

Importantly, the temporary ban DOES NOT apply to the following persons outside the U.S. who are :

  • any lawful permanent resident (green card holder)of the United States;
  • anyone seeking to enter the United States on an immigrant visa as a physician, nurse, or other healthcare professional; to perform medical research or other research intended to combat the spread of COVID-19; or to perform work essential to combating, recovering from, or otherwise alleviating the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees; and any spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old of any such alien who are accompanying or following to join the alien;
  • anyone applying for a visa to enter the United States pursuant to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program;
  • any immigrant visa applicant who is the spouse of a United States citizen;
  • any applicant who is under 21 years old and is the child of a United States citizen, or who is a prospective adoptee seeking to enter the United States pursuant to the IR-4 or IH-4 visa classifications;
  • any applicant whose entry would further important United States law enforcement objectives, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees, based on a recommendation of the Attorney General or his designee;
  • any member of the United States Armed Forces and any spouse and children of a member of the United States Armed Forces;
  • anyone seeking to enter the United States pursuant to a Special Immigrant Visa in the SI or SQ classification, subject to such conditions as the Secretary of State may impose, and any spouse and children of any such individual; or
  • anyone whose entry would be in the national interest, as determined by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees.

In short, this suspension does not include green card applicants who are applying for adjustment of status and does not include many other green card applicants who are applying for an immigrant visa at the U.S. embassy. And, it does not affect the processing of any qualifying petitions such as I-140 or I-130 petitions. Unless they fall in one of the special exceptions, the 60 day suspension does apply to the following applicants for immigrant visas at the U.S. embassy:

  • Spouses and children of permanent residents
  • Parents, children over age 21, and siblings of citizens
  • EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, EB-4 employment based applicants

This article is provided as an educational service and is not legal advice. Consult with an attorney for your specific circumstances. For a comprehensive evaluation of your immigration situation and options, you are invited to call us at 214-494-8033 or complete my contact form.