President Biden allows the proclamation suspending visa issuance to some non-immigrant visa applicants to continue through March 31st!

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(Photo courtesy Dev B. Viswanath, Esq.)


Background:
On June 22, 2020, President Trump signed a proclamation continuing Proclamation 10014 and 10052 issued on April 22, 2020, (effective immediately) and suspending the entry of certain nonimmigrants and Immigrant Visas that took effect and was to remain in effect at least until December 31, 2020. Then on December 31st, 2020, Outgoing President Trump, in his infinite wisdom decided to extend the proclamation again through March 31, 2021. On February 24th, President Biden suspended the proclamation 10014 for certain immigrant groups, but continued to allow 10052 for certain Non Immigrant matters to continue. This order does not apply to people that are in the United States already.

The order 10052 applies to temporary/non-immigrant visa categories such as H-1B visas, H-2B visas, H-4 visas, L-1 visas and certain J-1 visas. Query as to why President Biden chose to not withdraw this proclamation as well. One can only think that it was because of backlash he would receive from people in light of the high unemployment numbers. It makes better political sense to allow the proclamation to expire, then to affirmatively suspend it. If he suspends, it people have the ability to blame him for taking action, if he does nothing, less people will be critical of him and still, since March 31st is right around the corner, the intentions will be met.

H-1B visas are used for skilled workers and are common in the tech industry and is the largest visa program of those included in the 10052 order as its recipients can stay for multiple years and it allows for dual intent.

H-2B visas apply to seasonal workers.

H-4 visas are given to spouses of H-1B and H-2B visa holders.

J-1 visas are given to researchers, scholars and other specialized categories such as au pairs. Roughly 300,000 J-1 visa recipients come to the U.S. every year.

L-1 visas are used for executives, managers, or those with Specialized Knowledge within the company transferring to the United States to the US affiliate, from positions abroad with the same employer.

As stated above, the order does not apply to those already in the United States. And Foreign Nationals applying for visas to provide labor “essential to the United States food supply chain” are exempt. And those people “whose entry would be in the national interests” as determined by the federal government are exempt as well.

Individuals with Valid Visas Prior to Proclamation’s Effective Date Are Not Subject to the Proclamation Regardless of Previous Entry

Those with valid visas issued prior to the effective date of the Proclamation will be allowed entry regardless of whether they have come in before or not on that visa.

The practical implication is that visas will not be granted until after March 31st 2021 unless President Biden extends the proclamation. Which most immigration professionals believe he will not do.

If you have any questions on the direction or state of our country on immigration issues, please do reach out to and consult with an experienced Immigration Attorney. 

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