Executive Order

New Executive Order Restricting Work Visas

New restrictions on the issuance of non-immigrant visas.

Yesterday, the Trump Administration released the Proclamation Suspending Entry of Aliens Who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak.

The Proclamation suspends the issuance of visas for those seeking entry pursuant to any of the following:

  • H-1B visa, and any alien accompanying or following to join such alien;
  • H-2B visa, and any alien accompanying or following to join such alien;
  • J visa (intern, trainee, teacher, camp counselor, au pair, or summer work travel program), and any alien accompanying or following to join such alien; and
  • L visa, and any alien accompanying or following to join such alien.

The proclamation applies only to those who:

  • Are outside the United States;
  • Do not have a valid non-immigrant visa; and
  • Do not have an official travel document.

The proclamation does not apply to:

  • Any lawful permanent resident of the US;
  • Any spouse or child of a United States citizen;
  • Any alien seeking to enter the United States to provide temporary labor or services essential to the US food supply chain; and
  • Any alien whose entry would be in the national interest. For example, those that: are critical to the defense, law enforcement, diplomacy, or national security of the United States; are involved with the provision of medical care to individuals who have contracted COVID-19 and are currently hospitalized; are involved with the provision of medical research at United States facilities to help the United States combat COVID-19; or are necessary to facilitate the immediate and continued economic recovery of the United States.

The proclamation becomes effective June 24, 2020 and expires December 31, 2020. The proclamation also extends an April order restricting the issuance of green cards. The White House is estimating that 525,000 American jobs will be saved or created by the proclamation.

The proclamation was met with criticism from the tech world which relies on the issuance of these non-immigrant visas.

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai tweeted about the proclamation. “Immigration has contributed immensely to America’s economic success, making it a global leader in tech, and also Google the company it is today. Disappointed by today’s proclamation – we’ll continue to stand with immigrants and work to expand opportunity for all.”

Apple CEO Tim Cook also provided his take on the order. “Like Apple, this nation of immigrants has always found strength in our diversity, and hope in the enduring promise of the American Dream. There is no new prosperity without both. Deeply disappointed by this proclamation.” In FY 2019, Apple had 3,422 H-1B approvals.

Facebook released a statement as well. “Highly-skilled visa holders play a critical role in driving innovation – at Facebook and at organizations across the country – and that’s something we should encourage, not restrict.” In FY 2019, Facebook had 3,505 H-1Bs approved.

The Migration Policy Institute estimates the proclamation will keep 219,000 temporary workers out of the United States.

As the proclamation is implemented, we will have a better idea of its impact.