On May 29, President Trump issued a proclamation suspending the visa application and entry of Chinese graduate level and higher students (F-1) and researchers (J-1) into the US who are associated with entities in China that implement or support its “military-civil fusion strategy.” Under the proclamation, military-civil fusion strategy means “actions by or at the behest of [China] to acquire and divert foreign technologies, specifically critical and emerging technologies, to incorporate into and advance [China’s] military capabilities.” The proclamation takes effect on June 1, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. EDT.
For Chinse graduate students and researchers already in the U.S., the proclamation directs the Department of State to consider whether it should cancel the visas of individuals already holding a visa who would otherwise have been barred from entering the US.
Like previous proclamations, this proclamation exempts certain individuals including:
The Secretary of State or his designee is directed to establish standards and procedures to identify individuals subject to this proclamation. As a result, we can expect increased scrutiny for F and J visa applicants.
In addition, within 60 days of the proclamation taking effect, the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security are required, in consultation with the heads of the appropriate agencies, to review nonimmigrant and immigrant programs to make recommendations for any other measures requiring additional Presidential action.
This proclamation comes at a time when the President is expected to announce additional action restricting the issuance of temporary nonimmigrant visas. In the meantime, we will continue to work with clients to ensure that cases are filed as soon as practicable. Please contact a member of our legal team if you may be impacted by this proclamation or have concerns regarding the impact of potential additional presidential action. We will continue to provide updates regarding any new restrictions. We will continue to provide updates regarding any new restrictions, and as soon as we have word on any new Nonimmigrant Proclamation impacting other visa status types, we will schedule a new round of webinars to ensure client questions are answered.
On May 29, USCIS announced that it will resume premium processing in phases for the month of June:
Our firm will work with employers and employees at each stage of the phase-in to identify cases that may qualify for premium processing. We will provide further updates regarding premium processing availability in the event that USCIS revises the timeline.
On May 24, President Trump signed a fifth proclamation suspending the entry into the U.S. of all immigrants and nonimmigrants who were physically present in Brazil within 14 days preceding their entry or attempted entry into the U.S due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Brazil joins a list of countries with similar restrictions which include: China (excluding the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau), Iran, the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom (excluding overseas territories outside of Europe), and Ireland. Similar to the prior COVID-19 travel ban proclamations, the ban does not apply to U.S. citizens, U.S. permanent residents, and provides for other limited exceptions. The new travel restriction was initially scheduled to take effect on May 28, but an amendment revised the effective date to May 26 at 11:59 pm EDT.
The Team at Brown Immigration Law
** This newsletter/memo is provided for informational and discussion purposes only. It does not act as a substitute for direct legal contact on an individual basis **