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Trump's New Executive Order - What Does the Visa Ban Mean to Me?

Many who have read the Trump Administration’s latest executive order limiting entry to the U.S. for certain nonimmigrants and immigrants have questions.  We have answered some below.  Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions you may have.   However, the main points to remember are that the order affects

  • only people outside the U.S. and
  • only those in certain categories identified in the text of the order.

 

Q:  I am in the U.S. and have filed an application with USCIS for a change or adjustment of status. How will this latest executive order affect me?

A:   It will not affect you – the order applies only to people outside the U.S.

 

Q: Who else is not affected?

A:  The following categories are not affected: those who already have valid visas as of the order’s effective date (June 24, 2020);  those in categories *not* included in the order; lawful permanent residents (green card holders); and spouses and children of U.S. citizens 

 

Q:  I am currently outside of the United States and I am being sponsored for permanent residence by my US citizen son. Will I be able to obtain my immigrant visa to enter the US?

A:   No. The ban affects many family-based immigrant categories including parents, adult children and siblings of US citizens. It also affects spouses and children of green card holders. These family members will not be able to enter the United States until the ban expires.

 

Q:  What nonimmigrant visa categories are affected by the order?

A:   H-1B; H-2B; L-1; and J intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, and summer work travel program. Exception: H-2Bs working in the food service industry.   

 

Q: I have a petition pending with USCIS in one of the affected visa categories and I am waiting outside the U.S. for approval.  How will the order affect me?

A:  USCIS will process and may approve the petition on your behalf, but you will not be able to travel to the U.S. until after termination of the order (December 31, 2020). 

 

Q: I have filed an application for a visa category included in the order and was planning to consular process.  How will I be affected?

A:  Even if the consulate or embassy near you is open, you will not be able to enter the U.S. until after termination of the order. 

 

Q: I changed status in the U.S. to one of the categories included in the order (Example: I went from OPT to H-1B).  I don’t have a visa stamp in my passport.  How does the order affect me?

A: You may remain in the US and engage in all authorized activities while here;  but if you travel you will not be able to return to the U.S. until after termination of the order, identified in the text as December 31, 2020. 

 

Q: I am in one of the affected categories and have an adjustment of status application pending with USCIS.  I am outside the U.S. or plan to travel.  How am I affected?

A: If you have an H-1B or L visa valid as of June 24, 2020, you may travel on that visa.  Otherwise, you may travel on your Advanced Parole Document.  However, traveling may have significant consequences on your application so please contact an immigration attorney to discuss your specific case before you decide to travel.

 

The full text of the order is here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspending-entry-aliens-present-risk-u-s-labor-market-following-coronavirus-outbreak/

 Please don’t hesitate to contact us with further questions. 

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