On April 22, 2020, President Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) restricting entry to certain immigrants to the United States. The EO indicates the entry restrictions are necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19 and help preserve jobs for American workers as the U.S. economy recovers from the effects the pandemic.
What the EO does:
- “Temporarily” (for 60 days, but this time period is renewable) suspends US entry on immigrant visas (IVs) for certain individuals who are outside the US and don’t have a visa or travel document after 11:59PM on 4/23/20.
What the EO doesn’t do:
- Effectively, the EO does not change the current Covid status quo. This is because US Consulates all over the world had already temporarily suspended IV and nonimmigrant visa (NIV) interviews due to Covid-19.
- The EO has no effect on any immigration benefits for individuals already in the US. So, anyone applying for adjustment of status (i.e., I-485) or change of status from within the US is unaffected.
- The EO also does not affect petitions – i.e., I-129s, I-130s, I-140s, I-360s, etc. – or citizenship (N400, etc)
- For those outside of the US, the EO has no effect on:
- Spouses of US citizens (USCs)
- Children and stepchildren of USCs (must be <21 and unmarried)
- Current Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs)
- EB-5 beneficiaries
- Some other classes of people – military, nurses, doctors, medical researchers and their spouses/children
- The EO does not affect those entering on non-immigrant visas (NIVs). So this means that Ks (I-129F beneficiaries), H1Bs, Fs, Ms, Bs, E2s, etc and their derivative family members should not be affected.
Who is affected? Those entering the US on IVs (i.e. via DS-260 process at US consulate abroad) who are:
- Parents of USCs
- All family-based preference categories (e.g., spouses/children (of all ages) of LPRs, siblings of USCs, sons daughters (21+ and/or married) of USCs
- All employment-based preference categories, except EB-5 and others who qualify for an exception (nurses, doctors, military, etc)
If my case is affected, is there anything I or DFVPA can do?
- Continue to work with DFVPA to obtain and submit documents necessary for processing your visa. The EO only suspends US entry on certain IVs, not the regular processing or issuance of IVs.
- Stay calm. The EO is only temporary for 60-days. Also, your case (and ability to travel) was likely stalled already due to Covid-19.
- Furthermore, the EO will likely be enjoined by a federal court in the near future.
If you are still not sure if your case is affected, feel free to contact DFVPA. Because we anticipate a large number of calls/emails relating to this EO, please understand we will get back to you as soon as we can.