Summary of Presidential Proclamation Suspending Entry for Certain Immigrants Applying for Immigrant Visas

Last Updated

April 23, 2020

The president issued the “Proclamation Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak” on April 22, 2020, suspending certain immigrants from entering the United States for 60 days. The proclamation is effective at 11:59 p.m. ET on April 23, 2020.

The proclamation is to be implemented by the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security and applies to certain applicants for lawful permanent residency, or green cards, who are applying at a consular post abroad and are not exempt.

Who does the proclamation apply to?

Noncitizens who:

  • Are outside the United States as of 11:59 p.m. ET on April 23, 2020;
  • Do not have a valid immigrant visa as of 11:59 p.m. ET on April 23, 2020; and
  • Do not have a valid travel documents such as Advance Parole, Boarding Foil or Transportation Letter.

Who is exempted from the proclamation?

  • Lawful permanent residents
  • Immigrant visa applicants in the following categories:
    • Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age of U.S. citizens and certain prospective adoptees
  • Special Immigrant Visa applicants in the SI or SQ category
  • EB-5 investor visa applicants
  • Any member, and any spouse and children of a member, of the United States Armed Forces
  • Health care professionals and certain medical researchers performing work related to COVID-19 (as determined by Secretaries of State and DHS), and any spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old who are accompanying or following to join
  • Individuals whose entry would further important United States law enforcement objectives (as determined by Secretaries of State and DHS)
  • Individuals whose entry would be in the national interest (as determined by Secretaries of State and DHS)

Note that, per the proclamation, it is within the discretion of the consular officer to determine whether an individual falls within one of the exemptions.

Who does the proclamation NOT apply to?

  • Immigrants already present in the United States, including those seeking Adjustment of Status
  • People seeking asylum, refugee status, withholding of removal or protection under the Convention Against Torture
  • Individuals seeking nonimmigrant visas. Per the proclamation, the Secretaries of Labor, DHS and State will review nonimmigrant programs within the next 30 days to recommend other appropriate measures to stimulate the U.S. economy.
  • Those in the R-1 Nonimmigrant Category or those in the U.S. adjusting their status to permanent resident. This will only affect religious workers who are outside the U.S. applying for permanent residence through consular processing.

The proclamation does not limit the ability of eligible noncitizens to submit an application for adjustment of status. In addition, the proclamation does not limit the ability of any noncitizens, including those subject to the ban, to proceed with the pre-interview steps of seeking an immigrant visa. CLINIC will continue to monitor the implementation of the proclamation and advise affiliates about any legal and procedural developments.