On December 31, 2020, the Trump administration issued a presidential proclamation extending the ban of entry for certain nonimmigrant and immigrant visas as outlined in its April 22, 2020, and June 22, 2020, proclamations. The ban includes certain applications for H-1B, H-2B, J-1, and L-1 visas for persons who were not present in the United States as of the effective date of the proclamation, as well as all applications for immigrant visa holders. The bans were set to expire on December 31, 2020, but have now been extended to March 31, 2021.
With the exception of the extension of the expiration date, the scope of the initial proclamations has not changed. The national interest exceptions have also remained unchanged.
The administration cited that the initial concerns underlying the proclamations remain present—namely, “[t]he effects of COVID-19 on the United States labor market and on the health of American communities”—thus justifying the extension of the original bans. However, “[w]ithin 15 days of December 31, 2020, and every 30 days thereafter while this proclamation is in effect, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Labor, recommend any modifications as may be necessary.”
Ogletree Deakins’ Immigration Practice Group will continue to monitor developments with respect to the policy changes that may result from the new administration and will post updates on the firm’s Immigration blog as additional information becomes available. Important information for employers is also available via the firm’s webinar and podcast programs.