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Executive Summaries Apr 24, 2020

COVID-19: Does the New U.S. Presidential Proclamation Have an Impact on Your Foreign Workers?

Donald J. Trump issued on April 22, 2020 a Presidential Proclamation “Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak”. Here is what you need to know about this Presidential Proclamation.

The Proclamation became effective on Thursday, April 23, 2020 at 11  :59 PM. Under the authority of Immigration and Nationality Act sections 212(f) and 215(a) and 3 U.S.C. section 301, the proclamation suspends the entry of any individual seeking to enter the U.S. as animmigrant who:

  • Is outside the United States on the effective date of the proclamation;
  • Does not have a valid immigrant visa on the effective date; and
  • Does not have a valid official travel document (such as a transportation letter, boarding foil, or advance parole document) on the effective date, or issued on any date thereafter that permits travel to the United States to seek entry or admission.

Non-immigrant visa holders (for example, H-1B, L, E, O, TN and other employment-based visa categories) are not included in the proclamation.

However, the proclamation requires that within 30 days of the effective date, the Secretaries of Labor and DHS, in consultation with the Secretary of State, shall review non-immigrant programs and recommend to the President other appropriate measures to stimulate the U.S. economy and ensure “the prioritization, hiring and employment” of U.S. workers.

Categories Exempted from the Proclamation

The following categories of individuals are specifically exempted from the proclamation:

  • Lawful permanent residents (LPR), commonly known as Green Card holders;
  • Physicians, nurses, or other healthcare professionals entering to perform work essential to combatting, recovering from, or otherwise alleviating the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, and their family members;
  • EB-5 Immigrant Investor visa program applicants;
  • Spouses of U.S. citizens and children of U.S. citizens under the age of 21 and prospective adoptees seeking to enter on a visa for immediate relative of U.S. citizens;
  • Various categories of Individuals who would further important U.S. law enforcement objectives; members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their spouses and children; individuals and their spouses or children eligible for Special Immigrant Visas as an Afghan or Iraqi translator/interpreter or U.S. Government Employee; and other individuals whose entry would be in the national interest (as determined by the Secretaries of State and DHS, or their respective designees);
  • Asylum Seekers or refugees.

Proclamation Expiration 

The proclamation expires 60 days from its effective date, but it may be continued as necessary. Within 50 days from the effective date of April 23, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary shall, in consultation with the Secretaries of State and Labor, recommend whether the President should continue or modify the proclamation.

For 25 years, BCF's mission has been to support Canadian businesses and your North American workforce mobility needs. We know the challenges you face, and our Business Immigration team is available to help you use the resources at your disposal. Do not hesitate to contact one of our members if you need advice and support.

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