On April 22, 2020, President Trump issued a Proclamation that will come into effect April 23, 2020, which suspends the entry of those seeking to immigrate into the United States. The reasoning behind the issuance of this Proclamation is to not burden the American economy and the healthcare system while it is recovering from Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and to protect U.S. workers. Lawful Permanent Residents have “open market” employment authorization that allows them to work at any job, and this Proclamation is to limit temporarily the number of immigrant visas issued.
President Trump, through the Proclamation, declares the following:
The Proclamation will be effective as of 11:59pm, April 23, 2020.
1 – The immediate suspension of immigrants entering the United States who are outside the United States, do not have an immigrant visa valid as of the effective date, and do not have an official travel document that was valid that permits entry into the United States.
2 – The Proclamation will not apply to the following: those who are lawful permanent residents; any person seeking to enter the United States as a physician, nurse, or other healthcare professional, or in healthcare position related to combatting COVID-19; any person entering the United States as an immigrant pursuant to the EB-5 program; any person who is the spouse of a U.S. citizen; any person who is under 21 and is the child of a U.S. citizen; any person whose entry would further U.S. law enforcement objectives; any member of the U.S. Armed forces (along with spouse and children); or any person whose entry would be in the national interest.
The consular officer will be the one to make the decision in his or her discretion whether the applicant has established eligibility. Any person who attempts to circumvent the Proclamation through fraud, willful misrepresentation, or illegal entry will be assessed by DHS for removal. This Proclamation will not limit the ability of one to seek asylum, refugee status, withholding of removal, or protection under Convention Against Torture.
The Proclamation will expire in 60 days from April 23, 2020, and may be continued as necessary. No later than 50 days after April 23, 2020, the secretaries of Homeland Security, State, and Labor may recommend to the president whether to continue the Proclamation.
Within 30 days of April 23, 2020, the Secretaries of Homeland Security, State, and Labor will review nonimmigrant programs to recommend additional measures in prioritizing the hiring and employment of U.S. workers
Most U.S. consulates and embassies responsible for issuing immigrant visas are closed at the moment due to COVID-19 safety measures.