President Trump Extends Duration of Visa Category Bans to March 31, 2021
Donald Trump extended two directives restricting the admission of certain immigrants and nonimmigrants to the U.S. Specifically, Presidential Proclamation (PP) 10014 restricting the admission of first-time immigrants and PP 10052 restricting the admission certain H, J and L temporary workers, were set to expire on December 31, 2020 but have now been extended to March 31, 2021. There are exemptions to both of these “visa category” bans, and both are also the subject of legal challenges. Despite the extension of the bans until March 31, 2021, President-elect Joseph Biden is expected to review all Trump Administration immigration actions upon taking office on January 20, 2021, and may terminate the bans at any time.
The immigrant visa ban/PP 10014 was initially implemented in April 2020 and suspends the entry of select classes of immigrants currently outside the U.S. seeking to enter the U.S. as permanent residents with a new immigrant visa. Additional information about who is covered and who is exempted from the immigrant visa ban is available here.
The nonimmigrant visa ban/PP 10052 was initially implemented in June 2020 and suspends the admission of certain H, J and L temporary workers. Subsequent to implementation, both the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Customs and Border Protection clarified the scope of the nonimmigrant visa ban, and the Department of State outlined National Interest Exemptions to both bans. Additionally, in October 2020, a federal district court blocked enforcement of the nonimmigrant visa ban, finding that the directive exceeded the President’s authority and unlawfully invalidated significant portions of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The impact of the ruling is currently limited to the plaintiffs who filed suit and the members of their respective organizations. Plaintiffs include the National Association of Manufacturers, the Chamber of Commerce of the United States, the National Retail Federation, and others.
Notably, the coronavirus-related “regional travel bans” restricting the admission of travelers from the European Schengen Area, the United Kingdom and Ireland, China, Iran, and Brazil will remain in place until affirmatively terminated by the President. The land border restrictions at the U.S., Canadian and Mexican borders will remain in place until at least January 21, 2021.
More information addressing the immigration impact of COVID-19 and the government’s associated travel restrictions and policies is available on Gibney’s Immigration Updates and FAQs.