COVID-19 Immigration Ban

Summary of the April 22, 2020 Presidential Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants

The proclamation becomes effective on Thursday, April 23, 2020 at 11:59 PM (ET), and suspends the entry of any individual seeking to enter the U.S. as an immigrant 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.

The following categories are exempted from the proclamation:

1. Lawful permanent residents (LPR);

2. Individuals and their spouses or children seeking to enter the U.S. on an immigrant visa as a physician, nurse, or other healthcare professional to perform work essential to combatting, recovering from, or otherwise alleviating the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak;

3. Individuals applying for a visa to enter the U.S. pursuant to the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program (Individuals investing $500k-A million $ in the U.S economy);

4. Spouses of U.S. citizens;

5. Children of U.S. citizens under the age of 21 and prospective adoptees;

6. Individuals who would further important U.S. law enforcement objectives;

7. Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their spouses and children;

8. Individuals and their spouses or children eligible for Special Immigrant Visas as an Afghan or Iraqi translator/interpreter or U.S. Government Employee;

9. Individuals whose entry would be in the national interest;

Discretion: It is within the discretion of the consular officer to determine if an individual is within one of the exempted categories outlined above.

 

Nonimmigrant visa holders 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 nonimmigrant 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.

Asylum seekers are not included in the ban. The proclamation states that it does not limit the ability of individuals to apply for asylum, refugee status, withholding of removal or protection under the Convention Against Torture.

Prioritized Removal. Individuals who circumvent the application of this proclamation through fraud, willful misrepresentation or illegal entry will be prioritized for removal. Expiration. The proclamation expires 60 days from its effective date and may be continued as necessary.