U.S. Visa Bans: State Department Update – July 16, 2020
On July 16, 2020 the U.S. Department of State issued a press release addressing limited exceptions to June 22, 2020 Presidential Proclamation (P.P. 10052) banning the entry of certain H, L and J visa holders, and the April 23, 2020 Presidential Proclamation (P.P. 10014) restricting the entry of certain immigrants outside the U.S. seeking to enter as permanent residents. According to the announcement, exemptions may be available for the following:
- applicants who are subject to aging out of their current immigrant visa classification (e.g. visas for eligible children under 21 years) before the relevant proclamations expire or within two weeks thereafter;
- certain H and J visa applicants who are traveling to work in support of a critical U.S. foreign policy objective (such as COVID-19 response) and/or traveling at the request of the U.S. government; and
- spouses and children of certain visa class holders, such as H, J, and L visa holders who are already excepted from, or not subject to, P.P. 10052.
The State Department also indicated that consulates “will continue to issue H, L, and J visas to otherwise qualified derivative applicants who are otherwise currently excepted or where the principal applicant is currently in the United States.”
On June 22, 2020 the Trump Administration issued the Proclamation banning the entry of certain H, L and J visa holders, and extending a prior ban on the admission of individuals entering with immigrant visas. The ban took effect on June 24, 2020 and will remain in place until at least December 31, 2020. The June 22, 2020 Proclamation banning entry of certain nonimmigrant workers does not apply to the B, E, F, O, P and TN visa categories.
Despite the recently announced exemptions, consulates retain significant discretion in the scheduling of visa appointments, determining who qualifies for an exemption, and the issuance of visas. Many consulates remain closed or may be available for limited emergency requests only. Additionally, visa issuance by a consulate or exemption from P.P. 10014 or P.P. 10052 does not mean that an individual is eligible for entry to the U.S. The coronavirus-related travel bans generally restricting entry to the U.S. from the European Schengen Area, the United Kingdom and Ireland, China, Iran, and Brazil, as well as the land border restrictions at the U.S., Canadian and Mexican borders, remain in place.
For additional information, please contact your designated Gibney representative.