What Is the Temporary 60 Day Immigration Ban?

President Trump signed a new executive order that will stop green cards from being issued to overseas applicants for sixty (60) days.

When the Suspension on Immigration Is in Effect

The Executive Order takes effect at 11:59 PM EDT, Thursday, April 23, 2020, and will remain in place for 60 days, or June 23, 2020. On or before June 23rd, President Trump will review the Executive Order to determine if it should be extended.

Who Is Targeted by Trump’s Latest Immigration Ban?

The ban blocks the issuance of all new immigrant (permanent) visas to people outside the United States, with some exceptions.

Specifically, the ban covers:

  • Parents of U.S. citizens.
  • Adult children of U.S. citizens.
  • Spouses and children (regardless of age) of lawful permanent residents.
  • The diversity visa program
  • All employment-based immigrant visas, except EB-5 investor visas.
  • All other immigrant visas, unless specifically exempted.

Who Is Exempted from the Immigration Ban?

The ban does not apply to nonimmigrant (temporary) visas, such as students and H-1B high-skilled workers. It exempts any immigrant abroad who already has an immigrant visa or travel document in hand when it goes into effect. It also makes limited exceptions for:

  • Spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens, as well as active duty troops and their families.
  • People seeking EB-5 “investor” visas.
  • Iraqi and Afghan translators who helped the U.S. military, as well as their families.
  • Any person obtaining an employment-based immigrant visa as a doctor, nurse, health care worker, medical researcher, or other jobs that the Department of Homeland Security determines is essential to combating the coronavirus. Spouses and children of these people are also exempted.
  • Anyone whose entry as an immigrant is determined to be in the “national interest” or that “furthers important law enforcement objectives.”
  • The ban also does not affect anyone seeking to gain a green card from inside the United States through “adjustment of status,” which does not require obtaining a visa from outside the country. Refugees, asylum seekers, and those currently holding lawful permanent resident status aren’t affected by the ban, but their ability to petition for family members abroad could be impacted.

What Is the Long-term Effect of This Immigration Ban?

Routine visa services at consulates abroad are already suspended due to the coronavirus, so this ban does not change much in the short-term. However, the effect will likely be significant if the ban continues once those consulates reopen.

According to an analysis of the ban, all legal immigration would be cut by 33%.

While U.S.-citizen spouses are not affected, nearly two-thirds of parents of U.S. citizens would get blocked. 93% of other family-based immigrants would as well. However, because a vast majority of those who obtain green cards through employment categories do so from inside the United States, employment-based immigration is largely unaffected.

What should I do if I want to file an application or petition or have one in process?

The Anwari Law Firm strongly recommends you quickly file any application or petition you are eligible for, as further restrictions on immigration may be signed into law by President Trump. If your case is at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, you should continue to respond to any requests for evidence or other notices. If your case is at the National Visa Center (NVC), you should continue to upload all required documents and evidence so the NVC has all evidence required for your case once the processing of green cards starts again. Please contact us if you have questions about your case or wish to schedule a consultation.

Posted in: Immigration