Fact Sheet: Presidential Proclamation on Immigration, Economy and COVID-19
Updated: May 13, 2020
President Trump issued a proclamation entitled, “Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak.” The proclamation is effective beginning April 23, 2020. It will expire 60 days from its effective date but may be continued at the Presidents discretion.
The proclamation is limited to individuals seeking to enter the U.S as an immigrant who:
• Is outside the United States on the effective date of the proclamation;
• Does not have a valid immigrant visa on the effective date; and
• Does not have a valid official travel document (such as a transportation letter, boarding foil, or advance parole document) on the effective date, or issued on any date thereafter that permits travel to the United States to seek entry or admission.
The following categories are exempted from the proclamation:
1. Lawful permanent residents (LPR)
2. Individuals, and their spouses or children, seeking to enter the U.S. 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 Secretaries of State and Department of Homeland Security (DHS), or their respective designees)
3. Individuals applying for a visa to enter the U.S. pursuant to the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program
4. Spouses of U.S. citizens
5. Children of U.S. citizens under the age of 21 and prospective adoptees seeking to enter on an IR-4 or IH-4 visa
6. Individuals who would further important U.S. law enforcement objectives
7. Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their spouses and children
8. Individuals and their spouses and children eligible for Special Immigrant Visas as an Afghan or Iraqi translator/interpreter or U.S. Government Employee
9. Individuals whose entry would be in the national interest (as determined by the Secretaries of State and DHS, or their respective designees).
Nonimmigrant visa holders are not included in the proclamation. However, the proclamation requires that within 30 days of the effective date, the Secretaries of Labor and DHS, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall review nonimmigrant programs and recommend to the President other appropriate measures to stimulate the U.S. economy and ensure “the prioritization, hiring and employment” of U.S. workers.
Asylum seekers are not included in the ban. The proclamation states that it does not limit the ability of individuals to apply for asylum, refugee status, withholding of removal or protection under the Convention Against Torture.
Expiration. The proclamation expires 60 days from its effective date and may be continued as necessary. Within 50 days from the effective date, the Secretary of DHS shall, in consultation with the Secretaries of State and Labor, recommend whether the President should continue or modify the proclamation.
Discretion, Removal and Individual Consultation. It is within the discretion of the Department of State consular officer to determine if an individual is subject to this temporary ban and if so, if the individual is within one of the exempted categories outlined above. Individuals who attempt to circumvent the application of this proclamation through fraud, willful misrepresentation or illegal entry will be prioritized for removal. Immigration matters are always subject to the specific facts of an individual’s circumstances and consultation with a knowledgeable immigration attorney to understand how laws and proclamations apply to your case.