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Update on the President Trump Executive Proclamation on Immigration Visas

This week the White House released President Trump’s Executive Proclamation, and we wanted to provide our community with some clarity and information directly from the State Department regarding the J1 Visa. The Proclamation has been officially in effect since June 24th, 2020, and will continue for 180 days until December 31st, 2020. This proclamation will impact H1B, H2B, J, and L visas. Yet the O1 Visa has not been targeted by this executive order.

Photo by Eirik Uhlen

As we receive more information regarding President Trump’s Executive Proclamation, we wanted to provide our community with some clarity from the State Department regarding the J1 Visa. The Proclamation has been officially in effect since June 24th, 2020, and will continue for 180 days until December 31st, 2020. It may be continued or modified as necessary. This proclamation will impact H1B, H2B, J, and L visas. Yet the O1 Visa has not been targeted by this executive order, and is still a viable option for staying in the USA.

J-1 exchange visitor participants who are recent college graduates from foreign universities participating in internships (Intern program) and foreign college graduates with some prior experience participating in on the job training (Trainee program) will be impacted by this proclamation. More specifically, individuals are suspended from being admitted as J1 Visa holders if they:
  • Are outside the United States as of June 24, 2020;
  • Do not have in their possession as of June 24 a valid and unexpired, J1 visa in the classification in which they are seeking admission;
  • Do not have other travel documents such as a transportation letter or advance parole document.
All three of these factors must be satisfied to be impacted by this proclamation. Thus, the proclamation should have no impact to individuals in lawful J1 visa status today in the U.S. The proclamation reads as to only impact new labor applications as in those who have not yet obtained a visa to travel to the USA. Any foreigner who currently holds a valid unexpired visa (including in one of these categories) is exempted from this proclamation.
Unfortunately, we cannot provide further information regarding other visas being impacted by this proclamation, except for the O1 visa. If you and/or your current employer are interested in the O1 Visa, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

FAQs

Who determines the qualification of exemption?

For the purposes of determining who is covered under the “national interest” exemption, the Executive Proclamation directs the Secretaries of State, Labor, and Homeland Security to determine standards for those to whom such an exemption would be available. Suspension and limitation of entry is determined at the Consular Level by a consular officer at the US Embassy in the applicant’s home country. Be aware that all US Embassy posts are still closed to routine visa processing due to the current pandemic status worldwide. Embassy posts closed on or around 21 March 2020. Emergency services remain available to US Citizens and those with a documented emergency need to travel to the USA.

How does this proclamation impact the J1 employee at my firm?

Do not worry! If they already have a valid J1 Visa and are stateside they will not be impacted by this proclamation. If you would like to look at options for extending their time at your firm and in the USA, the O1 Visa may be your best option. Please let us know if you have any questions regarding the O1 Visa, and what steps you can take.

How does this proclamation impact my active J1 Visa status in the USA?

For those who are currently training in the Intern & Trainee Program, this new executive order does not change your status. Current Interns & Trainees may finish their training program as planned. Visa-holders already in the U.S. and those applicants who have already received a visa are exempt from the ban.

If I already have a travel validation from my sponsor and firm, can I still travel outside the USA and re-enter after my vacation time?

We DO NOT recommend that you leave the country for the time being, even if you have a travel validation. These are highly uncertain times, and we do not want you to risk your visa status by leaving the country for vacation or time with family. Please try your best to stay in the USA during this time.

What’s the status of the EU-US travel ban?

The U.S. travel ban on non-essential travel to and from Europe is extended until at least June 30, and we believe this date could be extended further.

We hope that this information was helpful and clarified this Presidential Proclamation for you! We understand that this is a complex issue that may require further questions, so please direct them to training@architect-us.com.

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