Who Does This Apply To? This new proclamation only applies to people who, on April 22, 2020, were:
1. Not in the U.S.;
2. Not in possession of a travel document or valid immigrant visa;
3. Not entering the U.S. to provide critical assistance related to COVID-19; and
4. Applying for an immigrant visa abroad. Who Does This Not Apply To? This new proclamation does not apply to:
1. People who are already permanent residents;
2. Spouses of U.S. citizens applying for immigrant visas;
3. Children (or adoptees) of U.S. citizens who are younger than 21;
4. Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their spouses and children;
5. People with Special Immigrant Visas (EB-4) and their spouses and children;
6. EB-5 investors;
7. People whose presence in the U.S. would be in the national interest, assist in combatting COVID-19, or in the interest of law enforcement, and their spouses and children; and
8. Applicants for asylum, refugee status, and similar humanitarian benefits.
Consular officers have discretion to determine whether someone is allowed into the United States in one of the above categories, which means that if an applicant presents convincing evidence that they are subject to one of the exceptions, the officer may go ahead and issue their immigrant visa. Whose Case May be Affected by the Proclamation? If you are in one of the following categories, your case may be affected:
1. Children of U.S. citizens who are older than 21;
2. Spouses and children of Lawful Permanent Residents;
3. Siblings of U.S. citizens;
4. Certain employment-based immigrant visa applicants (EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, unless they can establish they are entering the U.S. to provide critical assistance with the COVID-19 outbreak). How Long Will It Apply For? The proclamation is set to expire 60 days from its effective date today, which will be June 22, 2020. By June 12, the Secretaries of Homeland Security, State, and Labor will recommend to the president whether to extend or modify the proclamation. What Does This Mean Today? This proclamation only applies to immigrant visas (sometimes called “green cards”) and only those immigrant visas requested abroad. This means that applicants applying for Adjustment of Status who are already in the United States are not subject to this new policy. This also means that non-immigrant visas like tourist visas, student visas, and temporary employment visas are not subject to this new policy.
Currently, U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide are temporarily closed for non-emergency visa processing because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The Department of State has not yet released a date that its posts will resume routine visa processing. That means that, presidential proclamations aside, no one is receiving routine immigrant or non-immigrant visas abroad right now anyway.
At McGuire Law, we stand alongside immigration lawyers nationwide in our firm belief that regardless of where we were born, we all have an important role to play in building a better future. Now is the time for us to stand shoulder to shoulder and work toward the day that this crisis is behind us. Isolation won’t make America stronger, and fear and division can’t take the place of unity and determination.
If you still have questions about how this new order might affect you or your family, call us today, and our immigration experts will gladly answer your questions and assist you.