You may recall that on June 22, 2020, the President issued Presidential Proclamation 10052 which suspended the issuance of certain nonimmigrant visas. At that time, the Proclamation was scheduled to expire on December 31, 2020. However, on the day of expiration the President signed a Presidential Proclamation extending the suspension until March 31, 2021.
As a reminder, PP 10052, commonly referred to by many as the H-1B/L-1 Travel Ban, suspended the issuance of visas for those seeking entry pursuant to an H-1B, H-2B, L-1, and J-1 (intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program) visa. The Presidential Proclamation applies to those individuals stated above if they:
1. Were outside the U.S. on the effective date of the Proclamation (June 24, 2020);
2. Did not have a nonimmigrant visa in one of the categories now suspended that is valid on the effective date of the Proclamation; AND
3. Did not have an official travel document other than a visa (such as a transportation letter, boarding foil, or advance parole document) valid on the effective date of the Proclamation.
A few scenarios of how the proclamation may impact certain individuals:
· An individual outside the U.S. on June 24, 2020 in possession of a valid F-1 visa (or any other visa) on that date CANNOT receive an H-1B/H-2B/J-1 (intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, and summer work travel)/L-1 visa
· An individual outside the U.S. on June 24,2020 in possession of a valid H-1B/L-1 visa on that date CAN use that visa to enter the U.S., but only while it remains valid
· An individual inside the U.S. on June 24, 2020 in H-1B/L-1 status, but does not yet have an H-1B/L-1 visa, is NOT subject to the proclamation and may apply for an H-1B/L-1 visa
· An individual inside the U.S. on June 24, 2020 in F-1 status who eventually departs the U.S. may be restricted from applying for an H-1B visa while PP 10052 remains in effect unless he or she can establish eligibility for an exception – the Department of State has provided different answers about this scenario so it is advised that if you are trying to obtain an H-1B visa and claim you are exempt from PP 10052 because you were inside the U.S. on 06/24/2020 in F-1 status, it is possible you could be disadvantaged.
The Proclamation does not apply to the following:
· Lawful permanent residents
· Spouse of child of a U.S. citizen
· Any individual seeking entry to provide temporary labor essential to the U.S. food supply chain
· Any individual whose entry would be in the national interest as determined by the Secretary of State, Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees.
One of the exceptions to the proclamation includes those individuals whose entry would be in the “national interest” as determined by the Secretary of State, Secretary of Homeland Security, or their respective designees. To view the national interest exceptions in full, please click here.