On February 24, 2021, the Biden administration issued a proclamation immediately revoking the prior administration’s Proclamation 10014 of April 22, 2020, that blocked individuals from entering the United States on immigrant visas. Note that the proclamation provides relief to the ban on immigrant visas only. The Trump administration’s ban on certain nonimmigrant visa categories, such as H-1B, J-1, and L-1 visas, still remains in effect and is currently set to expire on March 31, 2021.
The Biden administration indicated that the “immigrant visa ban” does not advance U.S. interests and, in fact, “harms industries in the United States that utilize talent from around the world” and prevents immigrants from realizing “their dreams in the United States.” The immigrant visa ban was set to expire on March 31, 2021.
The proclamation further directs the secretary of state, the secretary of labor, and the secretary of homeland security to “review any regulations, orders, guidance documents, policies, and any other similar agency actions developed pursuant to Proclamation 10014 and, as appropriate, issue revised guidance consistent with” its revocation, as necessary.
The revocation will allow a U.S. consulate or embassy abroad to issue an immigrant visa to eligible individuals. Note, however, that many consulates and embassies are closed or operating on limited capacity due to COVID-19.
Ogletree Deakins’ Immigration Practice Group will continue to monitor developments with respect to any policy changes and will post updates on our immigration blog as additional information becomes available.