How Does the Latest Proclamation Banning Nonimmigrant Employment Visas Affect Me?

President Trump issued an extended and expanded version of Proclamation 10014, Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak

The Proclamation extends the previous temporary suspension of visas that support the entry of first-time immigrants (permanent residents) through December 31, 2020. The order now also bars H-1B, H-2B, L-1 and certain non-academic J-1 Exchange Visitor categories from entering the U.S. from June 24, 2020 to December 31, 2020.

We expect this new entry ban to mostly impact H-1B visa processing for any new or continuing BU employee who is currently outside the U.S. The ban also impacts eligibility for visas and entry of H-4 dependent family members during this time.

This new suspension on visa processing does not apply to:

  • Individuals already in the U.S. in H or L status
  • Change of status applications submitted to USCIS from those seeking to move to H or L status from within the US
  • All J-1 Exchange Visitors categories at BU such as Research Scholar, Professor, Short-Term Scholar, Specialist, Alien Physician, Student and Student Intern
  • Visa processing for all other nonimmigrant visa categories (F-1, F-2, F-1 on OPT & STEM OPT, TN, O-1, B1/B2, E etc) provided US consular posts reopen and COVID-related travel bans relaxed
  • U.S. permanent residents in possession of the “Resident Alien” document (green card)
  • Spouses and children of U.S. citizens
  • Foreign national workers essential to the food chain
  • Individuals whose entry is deemed to be in the national interest. The Secretaries of State, Labor, and Homeland Security are instructed to establish standards to define which categories of individuals would fall into the national interest exemption, including those who are involved in providing healthcare to COVID-19 hospitalized patients, or those involved in COVID-19-related medical research, as well as those involved in law enforcement and defense, and those who are necessary to facilitate the immediate and continued economic recovery of the United States.

It is important to keep in mind that a visa is only a travel document that must valid upon physical entry to the U.S. Entry visas often expire while scholars and employees remain in the U.S. in valid nonimmigrant status. Visas can only be renewed from outside the U.S. Those individuals currently in the U.S. in valid H or L status with expired visas should be careful not to schedule any travel outside the US during this time a consulates remain closed and travel bans remain in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please review the scenarios below for more details about individual situations. As always, please contact your ISSO Scholar Advisor with any questions.