After having tweeted his plan to “suspend immigration into the United States” earlier this week, yesterday, President Trump signed an Executive Order (“EO”), the “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak,” to suspend the issuance of new Immigrant Visas for individuals who are outside the U.S. for 60-days. The order does not impact temporary nonimmigrant workers. Instead, the order will apply to (1) individuals who are outside of the U.S. (2) who do not have an immigrant visa on the effective date of the proclamation (April 23, 2020 at 11:59 EDT), and (3) who do not have an official travel document other than a visa that permits her or him to travel to the U.S. and seek entry or admission. The order does not apply to individuals seeking asylum, refugee status, withholding of removal, or protection under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
Additionally, the order exempts nine categories of individuals:
- Existing Lawful Permanent Residents (aka Green Card holders);
- Physicians, nurses, or other healthcare professionals, and their accompanying spouse and unmarried children under 21, who are seeking to enter on an immigrant visa to perform medical or other research to combat COVID-19 or to perform essential work relating to the COVID-19 outbreak;
- EB-5 immigrant investors;
- Spouse of U.S. citizens;
- Children under 21 or prospective adoptees of U.S. citizens;
- Individuals whose entry would further U.S. law enforcement objectives;
- U.S. military personnel and their spouse and children;
- Special Immigrants (SI/SQ) and their spouse and children; and
- Individuals whose entry would be in the national interest.
The order may be extended beyond 60 days, but no later than 50 days from the effective date of the proclamation, the DHS Secretary and DOL Secretary shall provide a recommendation regarding whether the order should be continued or modified. In addition, the order requires the DHS, DOL, and DOS Secretaries to review nonimmigrant programs within 30 days, and “recommend other measures appropriate to stimulate the United States economy and ensure the prioritization, hiring, and employment of United States workers.”
Though the president’s authority to impose restrictions on the entry of aliens under Section 212(f) of the Immigration & Nationally Act is broad, fortunately, the impact of this executive order is limited – we see nothing in the EO that impacts our ability to continue to file PERMs, I-140s and inland Green Card processes, such as Adjustment of Status processing. Additionally, the order comes at a time when global routine visa services at US embassies and consulates are already suspended and USCIS field offices remain closed and in-person services also suspended; put another way, this currently creates no further impact on our system than what was already being experienced. The EO is also silent or unclear on our ability to file for these benefits – while Consular Offices may not be in a position to award such benefits at this time, it does not specifically preclude our ability to still file these cases and advance the process, especially in cases where we know we are still months away from securing an immigrant visa interview.
We expect further guidance in the coming days as the Department of State and associated agencies start to implement this EO. Please contact a member of our team if you are affected by this Executive Order, alternatively you may join us for Managing Partner David Brown’s webinar tomorrow where he will spend his initial 5 minutes addressing this Order.
We will continue to provide updates regarding this executive action, and any other executive actions, as they develop.
Immigration Compliance During Remote Work and Furloughs II Webinar
In 30 minutes David Brown, Managing Partner, will discuss the key elements to pay attention to related to compliance in the age of work from home, or finalizing a RIF or furlough of your staff. This will give you the tools to properly ensure compliance and understanding in what are truly difficult times.
David will cover key points related to:
- What employees have WFH compliance issues?
- What if employees during Shelter-in-place work outside of the normal commuting distance?
- Does the DOL really require a notice be posted or an H-1 amendment be filed?
- Is there a differential approach to a furlough or RIF for the different work authorized status types?
- What’s our best practice for minimizing disruption to our foreign national employees?
David will walk through specific examples and scenarios and draw on his experience handling these issues the last 22 years. After his presentation he’ll provide direct answers to questions and he is also available for direct consultation on these matters after the webinar. If your company or fellow HR colleague can benefit from such a session, please register, and invite your friends.
Once registered, you will receive an email with a link to use to join the video chat on the day of the event. Please note: This link should not be shared with others; it is unique to you. If you ever misplace the invitation link, simply visit the webinar schedule on our website to join the LIVE chat.
If you have contacts or colleagues who may benefit from our talks, you are welcome to invite them to join our VIP invitation list by sharing our webinar schedule where they can subscribe for further information.
Don’t miss these opportunities to increase your knowledge on important immigration issues!
Thank you and we look forward to having you at the event.
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 **