US Immigration Ban: Not Applicable to Non-Immigrant Visa Holders

Posted on April 22, 2020
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President Executive Order Concept

Update: Clarifying details on the temporary suspension of immigration to the US, the yet to be signed Executive Order is restricted to those seeking green cards only. This suspension is effective for 60 days and will be revisited depending upon the economic conditions in the US.

If the Coronavirus pandemic continues to influence the US economy and unemployment rate, the US government will consider extending the temporary pause to immigration for another 30 days.

Who Is Not Impacted By This Immigration Suspension?

This order is currently applicable to those seeking employment-based green cards and relatives of those green card holders who are not citizens yet. It does not include the following –

Who Will Be Impacted By This Immigration Suspension?

Yr. 2019 had 462,422 green card recipients enter US.

This temporary suspension is restricted to those seeking permanent residency in the US. These family- sponsored green card holders will not be allowed into the US for the next 60 days. This also includes –

With mass unemployment surging across the country and unemployment claims crossing 22 million over the past weekend, President Trump has indicated that he will temporarily suspend immigration into the US “to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens.” He intends to sign an executive order to put this into action. Details of this are still awaited.

In January this year, as the Coronavirus was rapidly spreading across the country, the chances of having an economic recession was 41%. As unemployment surged, the possibilities of going into a recession have gone up by 67%. This fear has instilled the need to save local jobs and curtail the entry of foreign workers like H-1B and H-2B workers.

Since President Trump declared a national emergency due to the Coronavirus pandemic four weeks ago, he has taken several steps to restrict movement of immigrants into the US. He instituted travel restrictions for anyone coming in from China and the 26 Schengen countries in Europe. He also closed the shared borders with Canada and Mexico to arrest the spread of the deadly virus.

The intent to suspend immigration to the US was conveyed in a tweet by President Trump.

Today we have little details regarding his impending Executive Order. While immigration is a broad term, the many questions swirling around this are –

  • whether this immigration suspension will impact in-coming immigrants only?
  • what about the legal immigrants who are already in the US and have a valid visa?
  • will this increase wait times for green card applicants?
  • does this Executive order affect foreign workers on already in the US on an H-1B work visa?
  • and their eligible spouses who are on an H4 EAD?
  • what about international students coming in on an F1 student visa?
  • how temporary will this suspension be for?

As we await further details, stay tuned here to follow this developing story.

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