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President Trump Extends Visa Bans Through End of March

January 11, 2021

U.S. employers waiting to onboard foreign national employees through certain immigrant and nonimmigrant visas may have to wait until after March 31. President Trump recently extended Proclamations 10014 and 10052, further suspending the entry of certain immigrants and nonimmigrants into the U.S. in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Proclamation 10014 suspended and limited the entry of certain foreign nationals seeking to obtain immigrant visas on April 22, 2020. On June 22, 2020, Proclamation 10052 expanded the visa ban to include certain temporary, nonimmigrant visa categories, including:

  • H-1B (specialty occupation)
  • H-2B (temporary non-agricultural workers)
  • J (interns, trainees, teachers, camp counselors, au pairs or summer work travel programs)
  • L (intracompany transferees)

The ban also halted the respective visas for family members of those in these categories.

Both proclamations were set to expire Dec. 31, 2020. They have now been amended to expire on March 31 and may be continued as needed. Notably, these proclamations only apply to people who were outside of the U.S. and who did not have a valid visa or travel document on the date that the proclamation was issued.

Employers impacted by these visa bans are not without recourse, however. These travel restrictions are subject to a significant number of exceptions. These include, but are not limited to, exceptions for:

  • Spouses and children of U.S. citizens
  • Certain health care professionals
  • Those who enter to provide temporary labor or services essential to the U.S. food supply chain
  • Those whose entry would be in the national interest

Likewise, President-elect Biden may rescind these proclamations. His administration seems inclined to conclude that the entry of certain foreign nationals is beneficial to the interests of U.S. employers. 

If you have questions about onboarding foreign nationals during COVID-19, contact Brandon Davis or Laura Buck of Phelps’ Immigration team.