On April 22, 2020, President Trump issued a proclamation suspending for a period of 60 days, the entry of any individual seeking to enter the United States as an immigrant who:
- Is outside the United States on the effective date of the proclamation;
- Does not have a valid immigrant visa as of April 23, 2020; and
- Does not have a valid official travel document.
The proclamation goes into effect at 11:59 pm (ET) on April 23, 2020, for at least 60 days. It can be extended and modified. The following categories are exempt from the proclamation, and therefore may continue to enter the U.S.:
- Lawful permanent residents (green card holders)
- Spouses of U.S. citizens
- Children of U.S. citizens who are under the age of 21
- Nonimmigrant Visa Holders (proclamation requires a view of temporary visa programs and recommendations to stimulate the U.S. economy and ensure “the prioritization, hiring and employment” of U.S. workers)
- Asylum seekers
- Individuals, and their spouses and children, seeking to enter the U.S. on an immigrant visa as a physician, nurse, or other healthcare professional; to perform medical research or other work essential to combatting COVID-19 (as determined by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of State (DOS))
- Individuals applying for a visa to enter the U.S. pursuant to the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program
- Individuals who would further important U.S. law enforcement objectives (as determined by DHS and DOS)
- Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their spouses and children
- Afghan and Iraqi nationals who were translators/interpreters or employed by the U.S. government and their spouses or children seeking entry pursuant to a Special Immigrant Visa
- Individuals whose entry would be in the national interest (as determined by DHS and DOS)
In the last few weeks, the Administration implemented several measures to combat COVID-19 including temporary closure of USICS offices and postponement of all in person appointments including ASC biometrics appointments and immigration interviews in the U.S. In addition, there has been temporary closure of U.S. consulates and temporary suspension of issuance of visas at consulates outside of the U.S. as well as closure of the U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada for non-essential travel until at least May 20, 2020.
As previously stated, our office is continuing operations as usual and has continued and will continue to file all applications for all immigration benefits until further notice. Salas Law will continue to monitor developments and issue updates as we receive further information.