On April 22, 2020, President Trump signed an Executive Order temporarily banning from entry into the U.S. for 60 days, any person currently outside the United States who does not possess a valid immigrant visa. President Trump has stated that the Executive Order is designed to protect American workers in an economy damaged by the coronavirus pandemic.
Who Is Covered by the Ban?
- All immigrants currently outside the U.S. seeking legal permanent residence (a “green card”) through the U.S. consulate in their home country. This includes:
- Spouses of U.S. green card holders and their children.
- The extended family (e.g., parents, siblings, and adult children) of U.S. citizens and U.S. green card holders.
- All employment-based green cards (except immigrant investor visas).
- Participants in the Diversity Visa Lottery program, which issues 50,000 green cards annually.
Who Is Not Covered by the Ban?
- All green card holders and applicants already present in the U.S. Applicants may continue the process of adjusting status.
- Spouses of U.S. citizens and the unmarried children of U.S. citizens who are under the age of 21.
- Persons holding or seeking temporary visas (e.g., work visas, H-1B visas, and student visas). This is because many persons holding or seeking temporary work visas are those who work in industries closely related to the coronavirus pandemic, like food processing, agriculture, and healthcare.
- Persons seeking immigrant investor visas.
The Executive Order leaves open the possibility that the ban can be extended beyond the initial 60 days, and permits the Secretary of State and Secretary of Labor, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, to take additional steps to protect the U.S. labor market.
The U.S. is among many other countries who have issued travel and immigration restrictions in an effort to contain the coronavirus pandemic. For example, the U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Canada borders are closed to all nonessential travel, and countries across the world have closed their borders to U.S. citizens and people who have travelled in the U.S. It is estimated that over 90% of the world’s population currently lives in a country or territory that is subject to some type of travel restriction.
DBL Law’s employment practice is available to provide advice to employers on the current green card ban and other immigration issues.Back to news