Rumors have been circulating that the Trump administration may soon issue an executive order or proclamation to further restrict immigration or entry to the U.S. for individuals on temporary nonimmigrant visas.
Currently, no proclamation or executive order has been issued. Although unnamed sources conjecture that H-1B, L-1, F-1, J-1, and H-4 may be impacted, we are waiting for any definite action by the administration before issuing guidance.
Below are possibilities of what may be impacted by a proclamation or executive order, which may be issued as soon as June 15, 2020:
- Temporarily suspension of entry of certain non-immigrant workers (e.g. H-1B, H-2B, L-1, and J-1 visas) for a period of time (possibly 180 days). This may include FY 2021 H-1B Cap-subject beneficiaries who are planning to enter the U.S. on October 1, 2020.
- It is unclear whether L-1A managers and executives will be affected with L-1B specialized knowledge employees.
- It is unclear which J-1 categories out of 13 will be affected.
- Exceptions may be allowed for the temporary suspension that will be announced by agency guidance, including those who are entering the U.S. for COVID-19 related activities, healthcare professionals, and food supply workers.
- Rescission of the STEM OPT program and a reversion to solely a 12-month OPT program. It is unclear if there will be further restrictions on who can participate in the OPT program.
- Rule-makings impacting H-1Bs, which may include an increase of filing fees to $20,000 per case, publication of a comprehensive H-1B rule, and mandating the creation of a joint employer relationship by professional services firms and their clients.
As background, when the President issued a proclamation regarding restrictions for new permanent immigrants, the proclamation stated that the administration would also review nonimmigrant programs. Since this proclamation expires in less than two weeks, it is possible that the administration may take further action soon. However, as of now the administration has not issued any further order for nonimmigrant visas.
SW Law is regularly monitoring this issue and will issue an update as soon as we learn of any actual proclamation or order.